Rev. Pinckney was a state senator and one of the nine victims of the tragic shooting that occurred in the church where his funeral took place. “If we can find that grace, anything is possible,” Obama stated to the congregation. “If we can tap that grace, everything can change.”
After a moment of solemn silence, Obama began singing “Amazing Grace” a cappella before the choir, attendees and musicians joined in for the performance. Afterwards, the president stated that each of the victims had “found that grace,” naming all nine individually. “May God continue to shed his grace on the United States of America,” he concluded.
Pinckney and eight other churchgoers were shot last week at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston. The shooter, Dylann Roof, had a long history of racism and his actions follow an even longer history of racially-motivated violence in the Southern city.
Last weekend, at Delaware’s Firefly Festival, several artists also paid musical tribute to the victims. Paul McCartney dedicated “The Long and Winding Road” while Run the Jewels’ Killer Mike offered moving words before performing “A Christmas Fucking Miracle” for the crowd.