Reprinted from Common Dreams
The nine victims of the shooting in Charleston, South Carolina one year ago.
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We live on. Whether you believe in an afterlife or not, we live on. We live on in the memories of those we leave behind. We live on in words, in gestures, in glances, in anything that changes the heart of another person forever. We live on in loved ones and in strangers, in the people we've touched and the people they touch in turn. Each passes a tiny piece of us down the ancient chain of human life.
Sometimes we live on without even knowing it.
So let's start by remembering each of them by name, the nine kind souls who welcomed a stranger into their midst on June 17, 2015 at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C.:
-- Cynthia Marie Graham Hurd did Bible study and was a manager for the Charleston County Public Library system.
-- Susie Jackson did Bible study and sang in the choir.
-- Ethel Lee Lance was the church sexton.
-- Depayne Middleton-Doctor was a pastor. He was also an administrator and admissions coordinator at Southern Wesleyan University.
-- Clementa C. Pinckney was the church's pastor and a state senator.
-- Tywanza Sanders did Bible study.
-- Daniel Simmons was a pastor, there at "Mother Emanuel" and at Greater Zion AME Church in Awendaw, S.C.
-- Sharonda Coleman-Singleton was a pastor, a speech therapist and a track coach.
-- Myra Thompson taught Bible study.
I won't name the young man who killed them. I won't name him because I support the "no notoriety" campaign, and because he was nothing more than the instrument of larger forces. "Like a dog on a chain," says the Bob Dylan song about Medgar Evers' killer, "he ain't got no name."
This week we mourn another gun tragedy, the worst mass shooting in recent American history. It happened at a club called Pulse in Orlando, Fla. There, too, the killer was driven by fanaticism and hatred, this time against LGBT people.
After Newtown, after Charleston, after Orlando, our politicians still haven't summoned the courage to ban assault weapons or to regulate guns the way we regulate cars. So Americans keep killing and dying in numbers that are unheard of in other countries.