Charleston is a city familiar with tragedy. From earthquakes and hurricanes, to wars and unrest, this proud city has repeatedly been beaten down only to rise brighter and more beautiful with each challenge. In recent days, Charleston finds its tenacity tested again.

I would like to thank our police chief, mayor and governor for the way that they have dealt with the church shooting. They have demonstrated empathy through their actions. They have established support for the families of the victims by organizing prayer vigils and by opening help funds. Charleston and South Carolina are blessed to have you leading us.

To the Emanuel AME Church and to the families of the victims, I am sorry for your loss. My heart is heavy for you. Despite the sad circumstances, you have been a light to our city, to the state and to the nation.

Through your gentleness and forgiveness you have shown our country that there is another way to answer violence. Thank you also to the Charleston community for rallying behind the church and the victims’ families. As a result, this tragedy is bringing diverse groups of people together.

Let’s continue on this path, Charleston. When time passes and hearts heal, let us remain united in our humanity. In the words of an old hymn, “Bind us together, Lord, with cords that cannot be broken.”

DeAnndra Glenn

North Kenwood Drive

North Charleston