Honoring the 16Th Street Baptist Church Bombing Victimsby Former Representative Spencer Bachus
Posted on 2013-01-23
BACHUS asked and was given permission to address the House for 1
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.