50 Years Forward: Day of Commemoration - Alabamas13.com WVTM-TV Birmingham, AL

50 Years Forward: Day of Commemoration

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Day of Commemoration Service @16th Street Baptist Church Day of Commemoration Service @16th Street Baptist Church
Andrew Young brings laughter to the crowd with Civil Rights stories while reminding the congregation of what the service is all about. Andrew Young brings laughter to the crowd with Civil Rights stories while reminding the congregation of what the service is all about.
Governor Robert Bentley remembers where he was on the day of the bombing. Governor Robert Bentley remembers where he was on the day of the bombing.

As the choir sang, "Come on over to freedom's side" ... we were reminded what that freedom cost - the lives of four little girls, 14 year olds Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley-born Cynthia Morris, Carole Robertson and 11 year old Denise McNair.

Their families, leaders of the movement like Rev. Joseph Lowery, Rev. Jessie Jackson seen here with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, and Rev. Andrew Young were all here.

Young brought his humor retelling stories from the movement...

Civil Rights Leader, Rev. Andrew Young "And I went from tree to tree and I didn't hardly get wet."

But Young also repeated the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King's words from the mass funeral, "There's no remission of sin without the shedding of innocent blood, and that unearned suffering is redemptive."

Young said, "And so we're here to honor not only the four little girls, but Virgil Ware, and Johnny Robertson who were killed just because they were black at the same time."

Governor Robert Bentley recalled how the bombing changed him.

Governor Robert Bentley said, "So when word spread, that a bomb had claimed the lives of four little girls, inside their place of worship, like many across this nation, I began to realize the extent some would actually go to in order to forcibly suppress men and women."

And Congresswoman Terri Sewell said she is grateful progress has been made, but there's more work to be done... and then this.

District Seven Congresswoman Terri Sewell said, "I believe there is great irony and symbolism that because of the senseless deaths of four little black girls from Birmingham, that another little black girl from Selma gets to now walk the halls of Congress."

Many saw the bombing as a turning point in the movement... a fight for equality, voting rights, and freedom for all.

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