CHARLESTON, SC --The sound of reflection and respect echoed throughout the streets of Charleston Sunday monring.
The first Sunday service since that deadly massacre was held at the historic Emanuel AME Church. Hearts were heavy as hundreds gathered to worship at the church where nine members of their congregation, including their pastor, were gunned down Wednesday.
Hymns were sung, candles were lit and prayers for the victims, and their families, were offered.
Beloved librarian, Cynthia Hurd, was among those shot to death in the attack. Cynthia would have turned 55-years-old today; an emotional day for her family who’s left to make sense of her untimely death.
"I wish I could wake up and then someone tell me this was a bad dream," husband Arthur Hurd said. "Right now, I see a small, weak little man who has no remorse who left a hole inside of me that will never be filled again."
"I feel joy that she's with the lord today," Hurd's brother, Malcolm Graham said. "She is not a victim of this senseless crime. She got her victory on wednesday night. And tonight, she celebrates her birthday with the Lord. She's seeing family members, my mother and my father and grandparents. She's at peace, and so, I take solitude that when she lost her life last Wednesday, she lost it in the church, and today she celebrates."
The lives of those lost will also be celebrated, permanently memorialized in a mural. Two dozen South Carolina artists combined their talents to create a tribute to the nine victims.
A reminder of those lost, the pain left behind and how love is helping to heal a community in mourning.