WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made this statement on the five year anniversary of the murder of nine parishioners at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston. Graham continues to work with parishioners to advance their claims against law enforcement agencies who failed to adequately investigate the shooter’s past.
“Five years have passed and it still feels like a bad dream, but we know it actually happened. The senseless murder of nine parishioners at Mother Emanuel hit South Carolina like a ton of bricks. It remains hard to understand how anyone could have so much hate in their heart. To be welcomed into a church, worship with the parishioners, and then turn around and shoot them in cold blood remains one of the most horrific acts ever recorded.
“Then just days after this horrible tragedy, the people at Mother Emanuel showed a level of love and forgiveness that was truly unimaginable. It was an act that is rarely seen. I personally cannot imagine turning to the person who killed my family members saying I forgive you. I know that type of grace can only come from God. Of all the things that I've seen in public life, the words from the family members continue to amaze me to this day. You must truly have the love of the Lord in your heart to be able to muster that kind of forgiveness.
“On the five year anniversary, we think of those who lost their lives and the families left behind. The Christmases without loved ones. The birthdays missed. Our hearts are still broken and our prayers remain with the parishioners at Mother Emanuel.”