President Obama gave a moving eulogy on June 26 for the unfortunate victims' families and friends after the Charleston massacre. Many were in awe at the President's speech, some even comparing it to John Kennedy's "Ich bin ein Berliner" and Ronald Reagan's "Tear Down This Wall."
In his eulogy, Mr. Obama recounted the history of Charleston's "Mother Emanuel" - how "a church built by blacks seeking liberty" was "burned to the ground because its founders sought to end slavery" and how it rose again, "a phoenix from these ashes," to become a sacred place where Dr. King would preach from its pulpit. He spoke of how history "must be a manual" to avoid "repeating the mistakes of the past" while building "a roadway toward a better world."
The president used the word "grace" 35 times in his eulogy to describe various responses to the killings, including the forgiveness the families expressed to the accused killer, the coming together of the Charleston community, and calls by South Carolina lawmakers to remove the Confederate battle flag from its State House grounds.
President Obama broke from his eulogy to sing 'Amazing Grace,' a song that exemplifies human vulnerability and redemption.
"As a nation, out of this terrible tragedy, God has visited grace upon us," Obama said. "For he has allowed us to see where we've been blind -- He has given us the chance, where we've been lost, to find our best selves."