Today senator Clementa Pinckney was laid to rest in Charleston, South Carolina. The slain senator was one of the nine victims that lost their lives at the hands of Dylann Roof when he decided to start a race war by murdering the victims during bible study at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. President Obama delivered a powerful eulogy at the service and ended his speech by leading the congregation in song with his rendition of Amazing Grace.
“We are here today to remember a man of God who lived by faith,” Obama said. “A man who believed in things not seen. A man who believed there were better days ahead, off in the distance. A man of service who persevered knowing full well he would not receive all those things he was promised, because he believed his efforts would provide a better life for those who followed.”
Obama also took time to addresses that nations current state of racial issues. “Removing the flag from this state’s capital would not be an act of political correctness,” he said. “It would not an insult to the valor of Confederate soldiers. It would simply be acknowledgment that the cause for which they fought, the cause of slavery, was wrong.”
“Maybe we now realize the way a racial bias can infect us even when we don’t realize it so that we’re guarding against not just racial slurs, but we’re also guarding against the subtle impulse to call Johnny back for a job interview but not Jamal.”
First lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, and a host of high-level members of congress were all attended the memorial service. Hear Obama’s speech and his rendition of “Amazing Grace” below.