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'They Will Not Have Died in Vain': Funerals Held for Three Charleston Victims

"They will not have died in vain," South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley said of the nine victims of the church massacre.
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Three more victims of the South Carolina church massacre are being laid to rest Saturday, drawing mourners to the scene of a tragedy that has pulled the Charleston community tighter together.

"I struggled through all these funerals because this happened on my watch. And what I can tell you is we will make this right," South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley said at a joint funeral for Tywanza Sanders, 26, and Susie Jackson, 87, on Saturday afternoon. "They will not have died in vain."

The services were held at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church — the same house of worship where a white gunman killed Sanders, Jackson and seven others during a Bible study on June 17. Police say the shooting was racially motivated.

Cynthia Hurd, 54, was memorialized Saturday morning. Speakers at her funeral said the beloved town librarian was a dedicated public servant.

Related: Two Activists Arrested at South Carolina Statehouse

Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., one of Congress' leading black lawmakers, said Hurd embodied South Carolina's motto, a Latin phrase that translates to: "While I breathe, I hope."

"Because of the life of Cynthia Graham Hurd and eight other great people, I have hope today," Clyburn said. "I have great hope that South Carolina is going to live out its motto in a way that none of us would have ever believed."

Civil rights leader Rev. Jesse Jackson was among those who packed the church to remember Hurd along with Sanders and his great aunt, Jackson. As mourners filed into the church, many leaned over their open caskets to kiss them.

"These are lives that meant something," Jackson said.

In an emotional eulogy on Friday, President Obama paid tribute to the church's pastor, the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, who was among the nine killed.

The shooting at the historic black chuch by gunman Dylann Roof has ignited the debate over strained race relations in this country. Roof, 21, has confessed to the murders, sources say.

Related: Racist Website Appears to Belong to Charleston Church Shooter Dylann Roof

A website featuring a white supremacist screed and dozens of photos of Roof posing with the Confederate flag was discovered last week. The FBI is investigating it and are operating under the assumption that Roof is behind the writing and photos, a source told NBC News.

Obama sang "Amazing Grace" at Friday's funeral and said the Confederate flag is "a reminder of systemic oppression and racial subjugation." The flag still flies at many sites of distinction, and was briefly taken down by activists in South Carolina's capital on Saturday morning.