President Barack Obama awarded the highest U.S. civilian honor on Friday to four black girls killed in a civil rights-era church bombing 50 years ago, saying their tragic deaths ultimately "helped to trigger triumph."
Obama awarded the Congressional Gold Medal to 14-year-olds Addie Mae Collins, Carole Robertson and Cynthia Wesley, and 11-year-old Denise McNair, who were killed in the 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama.
"That tragic loss, that heartbreak helped to trigger triumph, and a more just and equal and fair America," Obama said. ...
May 25, '13
Thanks for posting this news. Congressional Medals
, voted on by 2/3 Congress, are awarded to persons "who have performed an achievement that has an impact on American history and culture that is likely to be recognized as a major achievement in the recipient's field long after the achievement"
I remember watching this event on the news when I was a child. Last year while traveling to New Orleans for Mardi Gras, I visited 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham with my Dad. We had a personal tour of the Church given by one of the male parishioners waiting to hold a weekly support group. It brought a flood of memories back regarding the struggle for integration of schools and housing --there was a fire bombing of home 1/2 mile from my grade school a year after this event.
As we were leaving, the gentlemen held our hands and spontaneously prayed with my Dad and I for a safe journey...not something done in our Catholic faith. Later in our trip, we barely avoided a 3 car pileup; Dad and I looked at each other and said simultaneously "that prayer worked".
How fitting that the first African American President bestowed this Congressional Medal award. As a country, we are much better off for having undergone this struggle. Need to wake up Congress that the current political bickering is similar to these struggles of 50 yrs ago and we need to start working collaboratively to move forward.
Last edit by NRSKarenRN on May 25, '13