Four Girls Killed In AL Church Bombing, 1963 (Photo: CBS News)
The Congressional Gold Medal that honors the four young girls who were killed in the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham, AL/Getty Images
Congressional Gold Medal that honors the four young girls who were killed in the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing (CBS News)
Birmingham, AL-- Hundreds of people black and white filled an Alabama church that was
bombed by the Ku Klux Klan 50 years ago to mark the anniversary of a
blast that killed four little girls.
The Rev. Arthur
Price taught the same Sunday school lesson that students heard the
morning of the bombing: "A Love That Forgives."
Congregation members and visitors sang the old hymn "Love Lifted Me"
and joined hands in prayer at Birmingham's 16th Street Baptist Church.
"It is a sad story, but there is a joy that came out of it," said Sarah
Collins Rudolph, who survived the blast, according to Reuters. Her
14-year-old sister, Addie Mae Collins, was among the victims of the
Earlier, Rudolph, talked to CBS News about the pain she felt entering the 16th Street Baptist Church.
"I just kept wondering, why did they kill Addie? Addie never did anything for someone to kill her," said Sarah.
was showered with debris and flying glass. She lay in the hospital,
eyes bandaged, for nearly three months. Doctors had to remove her right
She now wears a prosthesis and still has pieces of glass in her left eye.
Fifty years later, Sarah still suffers from what happened.
"When I would go to bed at night, I would just cry all night long, just why did they kill those girls," said Sarah.
However, Sarah said she feels no bitterness.
bitter won't bring the girls back, won't bring my sight back. So I had
to forgive because it was what God wanted me to do," she said.
Rev. Price, at the church's Sunday school class, asked: "What
would you do if you could get your hands on that Blanton dude who bombed
The Christian answer, Price said, according to Reuters, is to practice "the love that forgives."
Later Sunday, Attorney General Eric Holder and others are scheduled to attend a commemoration.
dynamite bomb went off outside the church on Sept. 15, 1963, killing
four girls and critically injuring a fifth. The Klansmen were convicted
in the bombing years later, and one remains imprisoned.