Statement for Clemson Vigil Remembering the Emanuel9

June 24, 2015

To all of you who are here tonight and who are watching live on ClemsonTV, I thank you for your presence. I regret that I am unable to join you in person because of prior out-of-town commitments.

Tonight, our thoughts and prayers are once again with the families and friends of the victims of last week’s horrific shootings. We gather to remember and honor nine lost souls who meant so much to their families, their communities and their church. We also gather to honor their family members, whose powerful words of love and forgiveness – in the midst of unthinkable sorrow — have touched and inspired us.

We will be guided tonight and in the weeks to come by the simple phrase that has been written and spoken thousands of times – we stand with Charleston. We stand with people whose lives were dedicated to service and faith. We stand with people who seek to unite us, not divide us. We stand with each other – in remembrance.

Thank you – and God bless.

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