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Prayer in the park to honor Clementa Pinckney, Emanuel Nine

  • Charleston Post and Courier photo via AP Sen. Clementa Pinckney was one of nine people killed June 17, 2015. The shootings shocked the county and the country.

Saturday marks the two-year anniversary of the June 17, 2015, shootings at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston that killed nine churchgoers, including Sen. Clementa Pinckney, a Jasper County native.

To recognize the anniversary, the Jasper County Sun Times has an updated special web section that details the events of the shooting and the aftermath. There are also photos from the vigils following the shooting, and images and a video from Pinckney’s funeral at College of Charleston’s TD Arena on June 26.

The section includes stories on how Pinckney, 41, has been honored since his death.

Inside the section, you’ll read the many tributes from Pinckney’s friends and ­former classmates, and re-live moments from former President Barack Obama’s gripping eulogy.

You can find the special section at www.jaspersuntimes.com/pinckney.

To honor Sen. Pinckney and the Emanuel Nine, there is a planned prayer at Turpin Park in Ridgeland, 12 p.m. Friday. The vigil will also honor James “Jimmy” Rhodes Jr., Edith Drayton, Ralph Tuten, Henry Moss, Claude Dean and James and Cathy Gardner.

Ladenier Mitchell, who for several years has helped organize weekly prayers in the park, knew Pinckney when he was young because her aunt lived across the street from Pinckney.

She said it is important to always remember his name.

“He was such a gentle giant,” said Mitchell, of Carey Hill Baptist Church in Ridgeland. “He was our hometown hero. When you think of Jasper County, you have to think of the senator who represented the county. We can never forget him.”

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