By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Wednesday, Congresswoman Terri A. Sewell (D) from Selma and Congressman Spencer Bachus (R) from Vestavia introduced H.R. 360 to request that the United States Congress bestow its highest civilian honor—the Congressional Gold Medal—to Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson, and Denise McNair. The four girls tragically lost their lives during the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in 1963.
Representative Sewell said, “I am honored to introduce this legislation with my colleague Congressman Spencer Bachus today. While there are many individuals and events rightfully worthy of recognition for the sacrifices made to the Civil Rights Movement, the selection of those who lost their lives in the bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church was the most symbolic event associated with the Civil Rights Movement in Birmingham. The four little girls are emblematic of so many who have lost their lives for the cause of freedom: Medgar Evers, Emmett Till, Jimmie Lee Jackson, James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner as well as Virgil Ware and James Johnny Robinson who were killed within hours of the church bombing. Over the course of this year 2013, as we commemorate Birmingham’s role in history, we must make every effort to remember and recognize not just these four little girls but all those who have suffered and sacrificed so that Birmingham, Alabama and this nation could uphold its ideals of equality and justice for all.”