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Memorial garden honors victims, survivors of Mother Emmanuel attack

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The Susie Jackson Freedom Memorial Garden opened to the public on June 17, the seventh anniversary of the racist attack at Mother Emanuel AME Church. Jackson, at 87, was the eldest of the nine congregants killed during evening Bible study in 2015.

An all-season Charleston garden, the memorial includes a water feature as well as nine Japanese blueberry trees, in honor of the nine lives lost during the tragedy, and five Noisette roses, one for each of the survivors. It was made possible through a public/private partnership that included the city of Charleston, Charleston County, Charleston Parks Conservancy and the support of the surrounding residents and businesses, according to a news release.

Benches and additional plantings are scheduled to be installed in the park this month. A formal dedication and plaque installation ceremony will take place after the benches and final plantings are in place.

The garden is located behind the Charleston County Public Library at 68 Calhoun St. and runs along Alexander Street, where Jackson lived for more than 50 years. She is formally remembered every June 18, which the city has declared Susie Jackson Day.

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