I cannot begin to imagine motive or thoughts in the gunman's head. That it was hatred is pretty obvious. I've heard all sorts of speculation: to create a racial division, instill fear, and even heard a news commentator suggest it was based on religious grounds, persecuting Christians. But what I saw in front of me, everywhere I went yesterday was Charlestonians pulling together, comforting each other. We prayed together, sang together, grieved together. We looked to ways to comfort the families of the victims and help Mother Emanuel AME Church. We remembered the lost, those nine marvelous souls. We were not strangers to each other. We did not fear. We did not hate. We loved.
The gunman failed. We are not divided. We are united. We are Charleston. We will get through this, though not over this. We are Charleston.
After the darkness, there is dawn. We are moving toward the light.