MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Five years ago in Charleston, South Carolina, a gunman killed nine people during Bible study at one of the oldest Black churches in the United States.
Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, lovingly referred to as Mother Emanuel, is a place long known for Civil Rights organizing.
On Wednesday, Rose Simmons, daughter of slain Rev. Dr. Daniel Simmons Sr., came to Minneapolis to remember those who died in the massacre, and to grieve with the family of George Floyd.
Simmons walked the grounds of East 38th Street and Chicago Avenue on Wednesday, taking in a memorial created by the community at the site where Floyd was killed.
“This is really a solemn place, and it is definitely to be honored,” Simmons said.
Being at the exact place where Floyd died is exactly where Simmons wanted to be on this day.
“I want to join in the grief here in Minneapolis,” Simmons said.
She said she felt called by God to be at the memorial.
“I couldn’t think of a better place to be to just let the Floyd family know that I understand exactly what you’re going through, when your loved one’s life is taken away simply because of the color of their skin,” she said.
Simmons took a moment to lay nine flowers at the memorial, one for each of the church shooting victims, including her own father. She used the time at the memorial to reflect on her dad’s own legacy.
“He is a part of this change that’s taken place here today, and I’m grateful,” Simmons said. “It makes his death worth it, if you can imagine that.”
Later, Simmons and other Twin Cities religious leaders gathered at St. Peter’s AME Church to continue their discussion of racial injustice, and how to learn from what happened in Minneapolis and Charleston.