June 21, 2018 / 6:03 AM

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Organist Charles Miller Jr. Pounds Church Organ During Obama's Mother Emanuel Eulogy



Barack Obama's eulogy for the late Rev. Clementa Pinckney may have been gifted a powerful punctuation, that is when Charles Miller Jr. pounded on his church organ at the perfect moment to help solidify a touching moment amid a great tragedy.

For the fallen in the Mother Emanuel AME Church shooting, an entire nation has responded to the act of violence with much deserved empathy for the victims and their families. And on Friday, when President Obama sang the words of "Amazing Grace" at the end of his speech, Miller decided to take that moment as his moment from God.

A ray of light, possibly, but the music added a certain hue to the moment, keeping the spirit of the dead alive in song.

He said to the Post and Courier:

"I was taking my cue from God, literally," he said. "In the black tradition, when a lot of preachers get to the end of their sermons, the musicians come in and assist with the message. Even though President Obama is not a minister, he was delivering a word for this church, for this community, this city, the state, and for the nation. So what better way to honor the nine who senselessly lost their lives, than to just help the president in any way I could?"

The lifelong pianist and organist felt deeply moved and felt as if it were a very personal and emotional experience. Miller lost his cousin, Rev. Daniel Simmons, in the shooting too.


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