On Friday, beloved Rev. Clementa Pinckney of Charleston's Emanuel AME Church was laid to rest with a moving service that included a poignant eulogy from the President. Pinckney was one of nine killed during a mass shooting in the church last week, shortly after the group had prayed for an hour. Since 2000, Pinckney had also served as a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives and the Senate, and died at 41 after a suspect — believed by authorities to be Dylann Roof — gunned down Pinckney and part of his congregation in what authorities believe to be a hate crime.
"Sometimes I think that's the best thing to hope for," Obama said at the service. "To just say somebody was a good man ... Even from a young age, folks knew he was special." He added: "To the families of the fallen, the nation shares in your grief."
In the funeral program, Pinckney's daughters Malana and Eliana, along with Pinckney's wife Jennifer, had penned tributes to their late father.
I know you were shot at the Church
and you went to Heaven
I love you so much!
I know you love me
and I know that you know that I love you too.
You have done so much for me.
I can't say it all. You will be watching over me.
And you will be in my heart. I love you!
Love your baby girl and grasshopper,
"I will always remember and love you," finished Pinckney's own daughter, Eliana, in her own letter.