Thousands of mourners turned out Wednesday at the State House in Columbia, South Carolina, where the body of Rev. Clementa Pinckney was laid in state so members of the public could pay their respects.
A horse-drawn caisson brought Pinckney’s body to the State House on Wednesday afternoon at just before 1 p.m. Mourners had gathered early in the morning, waiting to say goodbye to the beloved reverend.
“I’m here to honor him and the things that he’d done,” Gloria Wingard, 66, of Columbia, told Fox News.
Officials estimate that approximately 4,000 visitors, including elected officials, former governors, family and friends, and even total strangers, turned out on the hot day.
“I’m hurt. I’m in pain again,” said Jeanetta Hutchinson, of Mount Pleasant, The State reports. “I feel the pain all over like it happened the first day, knowing what he could have done for us and knowing what he has done.”
“But God has a purpose, and you wonder why,” she added.
President Obama will deliver the eulogy at Pinckney’s funeral, which will be held Friday at the TD Arena at the College of Charleston.