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Sister of Charleston shooting victim trying to rebuild life

Posted July 14, 2015

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— Thanksgiving and Christmas will be tough this year when Marlene Jenkins' family gathers in her native Charleston, S.C., for the holidays.

The Fayetteville woman's sister, Myra Thompson, was one of nine people gunned down during a Bible study class last month at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston in a crime authorities say was motivated by racial hatred.

The shooting galvanized the state of South Carolina, which last week removed the Confederate battle flag from the capitol grounds in Columbia for the first time in 54 years.

"I saw a state, I saw a nation, I saw the world looking in on what was happening and coming together for the good of America," said Jenkins, who attended the flag lowering on Friday.

Jenkins spent about two weeks in Charleston after the shooting and says she was humbled by the outpouring of love and encouragement from around the world. She attended the funeral for Sen. Clementa Pinckney, the pastor of Emanuel AME, where President Barack Obama sang "Amazing Grace" as part of Pinckney's eulogy.

Obama also took Thompson's family aside to speak with them privately after the funeral, Jenkins said.

"That was even more compelling," she said.

Family members are relying on each other and their faith to get through the tragedy, Jenkins said.

"We've sat, and we've talked, and we've cried, and we've laughed about memories that we have about her, and we're going to let those memories keep us going," she said. "She was an English teacher and a guidance counselor by profession, but by trade, she was the best sister you could ever have."

5 Comments

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  • Gen Lee Jul 15, 2015
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    how does my post make me a bigot. i am making a point. why is this woman's story better than anyone else's. Yes I am heartless. You just don't want to hear the truth.

  • Kenny Dunn Jul 15, 2015
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    Gen Lee is a heartless big@t. It's perfectly clear just from the posts on this site. Not representative of the larger community.

  • Gen Lee Jul 15, 2015
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    I said it was sad, but it is nothing new. It is the truth. People get shot everyday and you don't see stories about their families trying to rebuild their lives do you.

  • Gabrielle Williams Jul 15, 2015
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    We will continue to pray with and for you and your family. And all the families. As for Gen Lee. If you have nothing nice to say how about say nothing at all.

  • Gen Lee Jul 15, 2015
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    yes it is sad these people died. but this is not a story in my mind unless they had nothing better to report on. many people face the heartbreak of losing a loved one to a number of things, including shootings, and trying to rebuild. that is nothing new.