As soon as the enormity of Wednesday’s tragedy at Charleston’s Emanuel AME Church became apparent, surviving members of the congregation and residents of South Carolina’s “Holy City” quickly turned to prayer. The first vigil formed that night near the scene of the shooting, a church of profound importance to African-American civil rights movements even before the Civil War. “We’re always going to be free,” one of its leaders asked, “but where do we go from here?” Meanwhile, across the country, Americans took to social media to join in observance. Here, a sample of the tweets posted under the hashtags #Charleston and #PrayforCharleston.
@Treys_Ambition: My heart is heavy. Please pray for my family. I lost my Aunt tonight. #PrayForCharleston … @drewholcomb: No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until “justice rolls down like waters … ” -MLK #PrayForCharleston … @iSeeSpotts: #PrayForCharleston Psalm 34:18 The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. … @MaxMousouleas: If this country has ever needed you, Lord it’s now. #PrayForCharleston … @itskortneylove: so distraught over this. A place where people are supposed to have peace is now tainted. … @ItsMeAngieMarie: The Church is supposed to be a safe haven, not a slaughter house … @drumbeats4peace: He sat in prayer group with them. He sat and listened to their love. Their love of God. Perhaps their dreams. No words. #Charleston … @_SaxGirl_: It’s so WRONG that one hateful man can rob us of 9 good people in only minutes. Lord, help us to love one another. … @AlexDiazUSA: “We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.”
#PrayforCharleston … @RealYaraShahidi :”To be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a rage almost all the time.” -James A. Baldwin #prayforcharleston … @MichaelEaly: My heart breaks for the families of these victims. #PrayersforCharleston. … @IamMannySmalls: can’t sleep at night, knowing my city ain’t livin’ right #PrayForCharleston#PrayForMyCity … @TayTay_Gravey My heart goes out to the victims and their families and everyone who has been affected by this tragedy #PrayersforCharleston … @yvonne_simone: So disheartening. Rest in peace to those murdered in the Charleston shooting. Prayers to the families affected. … @AngelaAlexisxo: I cried for the lives that were lost today. … @TheJunoette: Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. – Martin Luther King, Jr. #PrayersforCharleston. … @FrontRange_CC: We stand in faith w/ our brothers and sisters in Charleston, believing that God will bring peace, justice, and hope. … @ladybreec: Don’t just #PrayForCharleston, what we need is much more than that so we can stop making innocent people just another hashtag.
[Photo: AP/David Goldman]