“If you missed President Obama’s sermon in Charleston, you freaking missed history.”
Amazing. Yes. And wow, I’m crying.
What a day.
President Obama was supposed to give a speech at Charleston. Instead, he lowered his head in silence. Shook his head. Said: Grace. The crowd echoed it and cried out. He said it again. Echoes. Then, he began to sing, somewhat off-key, and the crowd and pastors jumped up and in: [and yeah, wow, it’s a national moment]
President Obama Sings ‘Amazing Grace’ during Eulogy at Clementa Funeral Charleston Shooting Speech
Obama sings Amazing Grace at funeral of Charleston shooting victim Clementa Pinckney. Related: President Obama Delivers Eulogy at Charleston Shooting Funeral of Clementa Pinckney [FULL SPEECH] Washington (CNN)President Barack Obama on Friday eulogized the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, one of the victims in last week’s church massacre, calling him a “man of God who lived by faith.”
“We are here today to remember a man of God who lived by faith,” Obama said. “A man who believed in things not seen. A man who believed there were better days ahead, off in the distance. A man of service who persevered knowing full well he would not receive all those things he was promised, because he believed his efforts would provide a better life for those who followed.” The President’s remarks both memorialized the victims and touched upon the current controversy surrounding the Confederate flag and what he said was a need for more gun control in the wake of the tragedy.
“By taking down that flag we express God’s grace,” he said.
Obama finished his remarks by breaking into song, leading the assembled in a rendition of “Amazing Grace.”
Friday’s funeral service for Pinckney isn’t the first time Obama delivered a high-profile eulogy, and with a year and a half remaining in office, it may not be the last.
But when the President stood in historic downtown Charleston to remember the slain pastor and eight others shot down in their church last week, his speech moved beyond just grief for the victims — Obama stepped directly into a national conversation about race in which he plays a central role.
Bonus: appreciating the preciousness of this fragile life: