Reverend Eric S.C. Manning, pastor of Mother Emanuel A.M.E Church, was recognized recently at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum Benefit Dinner, held on September 4 in New York City.
Rev. Manning attended the event alongside Michael Arad, the renowned architect credited with designing both the National September 11 Memorial in Manhattan and the planned Emanuel Nine Memorial honoring the victims and survivors of the 2015 Mother Emanuel A.M.E Church tragedy in Charleston, S.C.
Hosted by Michael Bloomberg with Colin Jost as Master of Ceremonies, the program opened with a Community of Resilience presentation where Rev. Manning was introduced alongside Pulse nightclub owner Barbara Poma and Shannon Silvestri from the Boston Marathon tragedy. The presentation recognized Rev. Manning’s strength and ability to lead a community that responded to a hateful act with love and forgiveness. In his speech, Rev. Manning highlighted the importance of resiliency and spoke to Michael Arad’s talent for designing poignant spaces that allow for healing and remembrance.
“What is it that allows for us to move from one season to the next? It is hope. Hope for a better tomorrow; hope in knowing that weeping will endure for a night, but joy will come in the morning light,” said Manning.
Rev. Manning continued, “After June 17, 2015 Mother Emanuel Church Family lamented because our family members, church members, and friends were murdered. Every year since then, we have remembered, and continue to heal. Resilience and hope walked with us through each season.”
The planned Emanuel Nine Memorial is currently in the fundraising phase and will be located on the church grounds in historic downtown Charleston, S.C. Construction and maintenance of the site will cost an estimated $15 million. To address the project’s financial needs and commitments, the Mother Emanuel Memorial Foundation Board was established as an independent 501(c)(3) organization to support the mission of the Emanuel Nine Memorial. The Board manages the fundraising, construction, endowment, and outreach for the project.