Stephanie Young, 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement to commemorate this Sunday as the 50th anniversary of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham, AL where Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, and Cynthia Wesley were killed:
“Fifty years ago this Sunday, four young lives were tragically cut short as a bomb ripped through the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. That heinous attack, a result of the hatred and bigotry of segregation and Jim Crow, opened the eyes of so many Americans to injustices they could no longer ignore.
“As we remember Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, and Cynthia Wesley, let us also recall the difficult struggle of the Civil Rights Movement and the progress we have made as a nation over the past half-century. Much work still remains in order to stamp out racism, intolerance, and the economic vestiges of segregation – and we must remain committed to achieving this goal. I am glad that, after a long campaign, this past week Congress bestowed a Congressional Gold Medal in honor of these four little girls. Let us each honor their memory with acts of kindness, a commitment to fighting for equal justice and equal opportunity in our own communities, and a determination never to forget the tragic events that took their lives.”