Ala. politicians seek Congressional medal for 1963 bombing victi - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Ala. politicians seek Congressional medal for 1963 bombing victims

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Two young boys, Johnny Robinson and Virgil Ware were killed later in the same day. Source: WBRC video Two young boys, Johnny Robinson and Virgil Ware were killed later in the same day. Source: WBRC video
Rep. Terri Sewell, Birmingham Mayor William Bell and Rep. Spencer Bachus are co-sponsoring this effort. Source: WBRC video Rep. Terri Sewell, Birmingham Mayor William Bell and Rep. Spencer Bachus are co-sponsoring this effort. Source: WBRC video
A memorial for the four young girls killed in the 16th Street Church bombing, located at the church. Source: WBRC video A memorial for the four young girls killed in the 16th Street Church bombing, located at the church. Source: WBRC video
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

There's a new push today to honor the four little girls killed in the 1963 16th Street Church bombing.

Birmingham Mayor William Bell and Reps. Terri Sewell and Spencer Bachus are sponsoring a push to award the Congressional Gold Medal to Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, and Cynthia Wesley.

Bell told the media gathered at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Tuesday that he knows he wouldn't have his job and political career if it weren't for the sacrifices of 1963, especially the four young girls killed in the 16th Street Church bombing.

"When I think about those four little girls killed in the bombing and then I think about my Congresswoman, who also is a beneficiary of the movement, I think what would the future have held for those four little girls?" Bell said.

"It's a responsibility on my shoulder as well as the Congresswoman's shoulder to make sure we live out their dreams and their hopes," Rep. Sewell said. "And we pass that on to the next generation 50 years forward."

Reps. Sewell and Bachus are co-sponsoring an effort to award the Congressional Gold Medal, its highest civilian honor to Collins, McNair, Robertson, and Wesley.

"These four little girls represent a powerful symbol of our quest for freedom, and equality," Sewell said. "The innocence of four children preparing for Sunday school being victims of the senseless violence being perpetrated on American citizens who simply wanted to be treated equally."

Birmingham's City Council Tuesday added they want to see the medal given to two other African-American teens killed later that same day, James Robinson and Virgil Ware.

"We have to tell the story correctly," Council President Roderick Royal said. "Especially if we seek a Congressional Medal, how's that family going to feel?"

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