On Sunday, July 15, as parishioners of Mother Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, South Carolina, celebrated the congregation's 200th anniversary, they also paid tribute to the victims of the June 2015 mass shooting, unveiling plans for a permanent memorial to the "Emmanuel Nine."

Michael Arad, the architect of the National September 11 Memorial in New York, designed a courtyard in which two curved benches with high rounded backs encircle an oval-shaped marble fountain inscribed with names of the dead. In a nearby garden, also on church property, stone benches honor each of the five survivors of the attack, with a sixth bench representing that Mother Emanuel A.M.E. has also survived.

The congregation's long legacy in the community inspired Arad's design. "It has endured slavery, discrimination and racism," the architect said. "When worship and assembly were banned, the church resisted and provided a place of fellowship and sanctuary. The Emanuel Nine tragedy marks another dark moment for the church, though faith helped to heal and bring light into the darkness."