HONORING THE 16TH STREET BAPTIST CHURCH BOMBING VICTIMS
(House of Representatives - January 23, 2013)

Text available as:

Formatting necessary for an accurate reading of this text may be shown by tags (e.g., <DELETED> or <BOLD>) or may be missing from this TXT display. For complete and accurate display of this text, see the PDF.

        

[Page H226]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




        HONORING THE 16TH STREET BAPTIST CHURCH BOMBING VICTIMS

  (Mr. BACHUS asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 
minute.)
  Mr. BACHUS. Mr. Speaker, let me rise to announce bipartisan 
legislation that my good friend and colleague, Terri Sewell, and I are 
introducing today to honor the four little girls that were killed in 
the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham with the 
Congressional Gold Medal.
  This year marks the 50th anniversary of this pivotal event in the 
history of the civil rights movement, which less than a year later 
resulted in the passage of the Civil Rights Act. We know today that the 
evil that occurred in this place of God on September 15, 1963, 
galvanized the conscience of the Nation and led to the passage of laws 
to ensure equal rights for every American.
  The innocent young children killed in the bombing--Addie Mae Collins, 
Carole Robertson, Cynthia Wesley, and Denise McNair--were eulogized as 
martyred heroines by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and it is fitting and 
proper that this Congress recognize the historic significance of their 
lives.
  Ironically, they were studying about the love and forgiveness of God 
at the time of their death. Let us be mindful that despite this act of 
violence and the killing of a young 16-year-old black boy and 14-year-
old black boy the same day, the civil rights leaders were committed to 
nonviolence, and they kept true to that commitment.
  Despite the violence done to them, they showed forgiveness against 
the people, and our colleague John Lewis and others helped us avoid, by 
their commitment to nonviolence, the calamities and replaying of 
grievances that have destroyed the fabric of many other countries. To 
them, we should be eternally grateful.
  In closing, let this legislation bring us together. I commend your 
support for it, and I ask for your cosponsorship.

                          ____________________