Monday, Oct 26th

LATEST:
You are here: U.S. News Mourning shooting victims, Charleston anguishes over 'freshness of death'

Best_of_2015_587x57_Results

Mourning shooting victims, Charleston anguishes over 'freshness of death'

churchCHARLESTON, South Carolina--Hundreds of people packed a sweltering Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston for an emotional memorial service on Sunday just days after a gunman, identified by authorities as a 21-year-old white man, shot dead nine black church members.

"We are reminded this morning about the freshness of death that comes like a thief in the night," the Reverend Norvel Goff told a mostly black congregation that swelled to about 400 people for a service remembering those killed on Wednesday in the latest U.S. mass shooting.

Armed police searched bags at the door of the church, home to the oldest African-American congregation in the southern United States, and officers stood at intervals inside the church along the side of the nave and in the gallery. Outside the church, a large, mostly white crowd gathered to express solidarity with those inside.

Goff's rollicking sermon brought people alternately to tears and laughter as the church reopened to worshippers for the first time since the shooting. They whooped, cheered and raised their hands, and ended the service with embraces after Goff, whose voice rose to a shout at times, encouraged them to "hug three people next to you and tell them, 'It's going to be alright.'"

The suspect, Dylann Roof, was arrested on Thursday and has been charged with nine counts of murder. Authorities say he spent an hour in an evening Bible study group at the church, nicknamed "Mother Emanuel" for its key role in U.S. black history, before opening fire.

Federal investigators were examining a racist manifesto on a website that appeared to have been written by Roof. The site featured white supremacist writings and photos, apparently of Roof.

Goff was standing in for Clementa Pinckney, 41, senior pastor at Emanuel and a Democratic member of the state Senate who was killed in the massacre. "When evil is in the world, you and I may not be able to control evil-doers. ... Some of us are still trying to seek answers to what happened last week, Wednesday," Goff said. "I've decided to turn it to over to Jesus."

Among those at the service, which lasted more than two hours, were South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, U.S. Senator Tim Scott, Charleston Mayor Joseph Riley and Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum. "The blood of the Mother Emanuel Nine requires us to work until not only justice in this case but for those who are still living in the margin of life, those who are less fortunate than ourselves, that we stay on the battlefield until there is no more fight to be fought," Goff said.

Hand fans fluttered as those in attendance tried to beat the heat. "I thought the service was comforting, refreshing and encouraging," said Everald Galbraith, 58, president of the Methodist church in Jamaica, who attended the service. "There was not a sense of great mourning. They recognized what had happened but there was confidence in the salvation of those that died."

The massacre has again trained a spotlight on the divisive issues of race relations and gun crime in the United States and reignited a debate over gun control in a country where the right to own firearms is constitutionally protected.

Riley, on the CNN program "State of the Union," called for stricter gun control laws. "It is insane the number of guns and the ease of getting guns in America," Riley said. "It's not that people should not carry guns and all of that, it's just that there are so many of them and the ease of them and there is no accountability."

President Barack Obama, in an interview recorded on Friday, expressed frustration over the issue. He blamed the powerful National Rifle Association gun-rights lobby group and public apathy for the failure to implement new gun control measures.

The church massacre has also renewed the controversy around the flag of the pro-slavery Confederate Southern states in the American Civil War that ended in 1865. It is a symbol of Southern pride for some and an emblem of hatred for others.

On NBC's "Meet the Press," James Clyburn, a black Democratic U.S. congressman from South Carolina, called on state lawmakers to pass legislation to remove the flag from the state capitol grounds, where it is mandated by law to fly.

The church shootings were the main topic at other Sunday services in Charleston, sometimes dubbed "The Holy City" because of its multitude of historic churches. At the predominantly white-membership St. Michael's Church, founded in the 17th century, the Reverend Alfred Zadig Jr. said he did not know any of the victims and asked for forgiveness "for failing to be a pastor who reaches out beyond my world."

"You and I are so good at compartmentalizing grief," Zadig told his congregation. "Today I'm asking you to feel the unthinkable pain ... This is not God's will. God did not ordain this event to happen to make a point about racism."

Image
St. Maarten midday Weather Forecast for Saturday
Saturday, 17 October 2015
DATE ISSUED: Saturday, October 17, 2015 @ 12:00 LST (16:00 UTC) VALID UNTIL: Sunday midday (12:00... Read more...
Image
SHTA poll: Businesses want anti-ship-jumping legislation
Saturday, 17 October 2015
Click here for SHTA graph pdf PHILIPSBURG--The St. Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association... Read more...
Image
Dominica’s tourism sector ready to welcome visitors after TS Erika
Friday, 16 October 2015
ROSEAU, Dominica--“Dominica is open for business and ready to welcome visitors to its shores.”... Read more...
Image
Reparations Committee: Withdraw Queens’ names from Suriname’s highest mountains
Thursday, 15 October 2015
PARAMARIBO--Suriname’s National Reparations Committee NRCS has filed a request with President... Read more...
Image
Ex-US House Speaker Hastert to plead guilty in hush-money case
Friday, 16 October 2015
CHICAGO--Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert is expected to plead guilty in a hush-money case... Read more...
Image
Hillary Clinton to 'look hard' at Julian Castro as possible VP pick
Friday, 16 October 2015
WASHINGTON--Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton won the backing of Housing and Urban... Read more...
Image
Half a million Yemen children face severe malnutrition
Friday, 16 October 2015
GENEVA--More than half a million children in Yemen face life-threatening malnutrition as a risk of... Read more...
Image
Modi to open 70-year-old files in challenge to Gandhi dynasty
Friday, 16 October 2015
NEW DELHI--Prime Minister Narendra Modi says he will seek to unravel one of India's most enduring... Read more...
Image
Cuba in cash crunch due to low commodity prices, Venezuela woes
Friday, 16 October 2015
HAVANA--Low commodity prices, a drought at home and Venezuela's economic crisis have created a cash... Read more...
Image
Apple's newest courtroom foe is patent-savvy university
Friday, 16 October 2015
NEW YORK--As a veteran of the global smart phone wars, Apple is used to courtroom battles with... Read more...
Image
Focus needs to be on fighting crime & helping unemployed
Friday, 16 October 2015
Dear Editor, With all of the political situation on the island, we can't lose focus on some of the... Read more...
Image
Had enough
Friday, 16 October 2015
Dear Queenie, My brother died years ago but his widow stayed close to our family. Eventually she... Read more...
Image
RBC St. Maarten Little League School Tournament
Saturday, 17 October 2015
Sister Marie Laurence defeated Leonald Conner in the RBC St. Maarten Little League School... Read more...
Image
Nadal trounces Wawrinka, Djokovic tames Tomic
Friday, 16 October 2015
CHINA-- Former world number one Rafa Nadal displayed more signs of a return to top form with a... Read more...
Image
Junk shop photo spurs quest to confirm Billy the Kid image
Friday, 16 October 2015
DENVER--For the $2 he spent to buy three old photographs, Randy Guijarro may have hit the mother... Read more...
Image
Few signs of improvement for NBA star Odom after collapse
Friday, 16 October 2015
LAS VEGAS--Pro basketball and reality TV star Lamar Odom spent a third day hospitalized on... Read more...
Image
Bruney cruises into retirement
Friday, 16 October 2015
~ After three decade in cruise industry ~   By Alita Singh   Frank Bruney has seen tiny... Read more...
Image
ALL HANDS ON DECK, WE MADE IT!
Friday, 16 October 2015
~ Fair Transport Sailing Vessel Nordlys is launched ~   St. Maarten has been graced by the... Read more...
Editorial - Anybody’s guess
Saturday, 17 October 2015
Governor Eugene Holiday has decided to seek legal clarity on the current constitutional impasse.... Read more...
Editorial - Time is up
Friday, 16 October 2015
With so much ongoing constitutional turmoil, the fact that more than 100 people attended the... Read more...
Image
Saturday Oct. 17, 2015
Friday, 16 October 2015
Image
Friday Oct. 16, 2015
Friday, 16 October 2015
Notices October 16
Friday, 16 October 2015
General Meeting St. Maarten Professional Softball Association (SMPSA) general meeting for the... Read more...
Notices October 15
Thursday, 15 October 2015
General Meeting S.M.P.S.A. general meeting for the softball season 2016 will be held at Sundial... Read more...