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Wikipedia | Remix by Max Fleishman

And to top it all off, Obama just sang ‘Amazing Grace’

What a wild week it's been.


Patrick Howell O'Neill


Posted on Jun 26, 2015   Updated on May 28, 2021, 11:36 am CDT

A week after nine black churchgoers were murdered Charleston, South Carolina, President Barack Obama went to Charleston to eulogize Rev. and State Sen. Clementa Pinckney, the leader of the church where the massacre occurred.

Obama sang “Amazing Grace” as part of the service, an act that had the entire packed church on its feet—and the Internet, too.

“Clementa Pickney found that grace,” Obama said. He went on to name all nine victims of the shooting, though the focus of the service was decidedly Pickney.

“We are here today to remember a man of God who lived by faith,” Obama said. “A man who believed in things not seen. A man who believed there were better days ahead, off in the distance. A man of service who persevered knowing full well he would not receive all those things he was promised, because he believed his efforts would provide a better life for those who followed.”

On the right, pundit Ann Coulter took the opportunity to criticize the president and all Americans who, over the last week, have moved to take down the Confederate flag from government buildings.

“Amazing Grace” was written by John Newton, a slave-ship captain who turned into a vocal abolitionist later in life.

Obama’s emotional eulogy caps off a week that saw profound changes in U.S., from governments removing the Confederate flag from state grounds to the historic Supreme Court marriage-equality ruling. When Obama began to sing, the Internet’s emotional dam burst wide open.

Photo via White House/Wikimedia Commons (PD) | Remix by Max Fleishman

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*First Published: Jun 26, 2015, 5:28 pm CDT