Thousands of people marched across Charleston's main bridge last night in a show of unity after nine black church parishioners were gunned down during a Bible study. Crowds gathered on either side of the Arthur Ravenel Bridge around dusk and then met toward the middle of the span. Part of the bridge was closed as people were walking, taking pictures, and chatting. When the marchers from the Mount Pleasant side and the Charleston side met on the bridge, there was clapping and singing of "This Little Light of Mine." "It feels great. There's so much love out here," said Juliett Marsh of Summerville, who was toward the front of the marchers who walked from the Mount Pleasant side.
The bridge is named after a former state lawmaker and vocal Confederate flag supporter. The slayings have renewed calls for the flag to be removed from the South Carolina State House grounds, in part because photographs of Dylann Roof in a purported manifesto showed him holding Confederate flags. Earlier yesterday, the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church held its first service since the shooting. "I was so pleased when authorities told us you can go back into 'Mother Emanuel' to worship," the Rev. Norvel Goff told worshippers. "Because the doors of Mother Emanuel are open on this Sunday, it sends a message to every demon in hell and on Earth." (Read more Charleston stories.)