4 girls killed in Birmingham bombing posthumously awarded Congre - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

4 girls killed in Birmingham bombing posthumously awarded Congressional Gold Medal

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The four girls were killed 50 years ago this week in a racially motivated bombing while they were at church.

On Tuesday, Denise McNair, 11, Addie Mae Collins, 14, Carole Robertson, 14, and Cynthia Wesley, 14, were posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, and lauded as one of the catalysts for the civil rights movement.

At a ceremony in Statuary Hall attended by the victims’ families members, congressional leaders spoke of the evil that was done in Birmingham that Sunday morning and praised the movement of peaceful resistance that followed, but led the way to broad changes without resorting to violence.

Filmmaker Spike Lee, who made a documentary about the bombing, attended.

So did Sarah Collins Rudolph, the sister of Addie Mae Collins. Sarah survived the blast, but lost her sister and an eye that day. She says a book about her experience is coming out this year.

The gold medal will be permanently on display at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute in Alabama.

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