TIME

“But I forgive you. And have mercy on your soul.” That is what Nadine Collier said to Dylann Roof, the man accused of murdering her mother two days earlier, via a video feed at a bond hearing last week. It is Ms. Collier’s voice, as much as her words, that I will always remember. It is a voice on the verge of breaking, a voice so saturated with love and pain that it is impossible to know where one begins and the other ends.

And Ms. Collier was not alone. One after another, the family members of those who were slain during a Bible study meeting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., somehow found the strength to transcend their fierce agony and righteous outrage. As a society, we owe it to the victims and their loved ones to do the same.

The catastrophe in Charleston was yet…

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