(Associated Press) President Barack Obama delivered a passionate discourse on America’s racial history Friday in his eulogy for a state senator and pastor, slain along with eight other black churchgoers in what police called a hate crime.

“What a life Clementa Pinckney lived!” Obama said to rounds of applause and “amens.” ”What an example he set. What a model for his faith. And then to lose him at 41. Slain in his sanctuary with eight wonderful members of his flock.”

“Their church was a sacred place,” Obama said, “not just for blacks, or Christians, but for every American who cares about the expansion of liberty. … That’s what the church meant.”

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