Charleston, SC (WLTX) - On June 17th, 2015, nine people were gunned down inside Mother Emanuel AME church in Charleston. On Saturday, exactly two years later, a "Hate Won't Win Unity Walk" was held to honor the victims.
The event was put on by Mother Emanuel and the Hate Won't Win Movement, which was founded by Alana Simmons. She is the granddaughter of Reverend Dan Simmons Sr., one of the victims.
"This is one of the many situations that's happened in our history that has been marked by hate and oppression and it's about time that it ends," said Rebekah Boss, an attendee. "It needs to end and that fight needs to come from all different populations representing and supporting each other, because one act in this country and this world to any of us, effects all of us. I think that's a message that's been lost in history and I think it's time for that message to end."
"I lost my father, Reverend Dan Simmons Sr.," said Dan Simmons Jr., "he was a great man. He did a lot for this city, this town, and this area, this community. But one of the great things I admired the most was how the city of Charleston responded, with an act of kindness and love."
Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg named June 17th Light of Hope Day in honor of the victims. Additionally, the victims were all given plaques by the trees at the Gaillard Center in Charleston.