President Barack Obama delivered an inspirational eulogy at the funeral of Reverend Clementa Pinckney, the North Carolina state senator and pastor who was one of nine black church-goers fatally shot in Charleston last week.
“By taking down that flag, we express God’s grace,” President Obama expressed to the thousands of mourners who joined in TD Arena. “For too long we were blind to the pain that the Confederate flag stirred in too many of our citizens.”
Former Secretary of State and Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, postponed a fundraiser in Philadelphia to be able to attend. She was the only presidential candidate in attendance.
Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley traveled to Charleston on Wednesday to pay respects to the victims of the tragic shooting. Other candidates have called for the removal of the Confederate flag including South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. Despite debate that has been sparked in the wake of the racially fueled attack, the flag continued to fly above the South Carolina state capitol even as Reverend Pinckney laid in state there earlier this week.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who has also been outspoken for removal of the flag, is expected to announce his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination next week.