Charleston victim funerals begin, as Confederate flag falls in other states – CNN

Charleston, South Carolina (CNN)The body of Pastor Clementa Pinckney returns home Thursday evening, where his flock has been preaching love in the face of the hate crime that took his life and those of eight others.

The wake for the late reverend and state senator shot dead teaching a Bible class over a week ago will commence in the house of worship where he was felled – Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.

And mourners in Charleston, South Carolina, will begin committing to the ground the remains of the people whom Dylann Roof, 21, killed in a racist shooting spree on June 17.

On Thursday, they say goodbye to Ethel Lance and Rev. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton.

Before bullets struck Lance down at age 70, she was enjoying retirement after dedicating 34 years to the performing arts. She had worked backstage at Charleston’s Gaillard Auditorium, which hosted renowned touring stage acts.

Coleman-Singleton was a speech therapist and high school track coach. Her son Chris described her as “a God-fearing woman (who) loved everybody with all her heart.” If everyone loved the way she did, hate wouldn’t have a chance, he said.

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