Historic church recognizes 1963 bombing

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - People remember four little girls who were killed in the explosion at Birmingham's 16th Street Baptist Church.

Tuesday was the 46th anniversary of the 1963 bombing.

People gathered there to honor the memory of those 4 little girls, and recognize those who have helped fight racism.

The Birmingham Pledge Foundation held the ceremony. That group's goal is to eliminate racism.

One of the group's board members is a survivor of the bombing.

Her name is Carolyn McKinstry, and she'll never forget that day because she was there and  knew the four victims.

"What happened here must not happen again," said McKinstry. "We must preserve the legacy of what happened here through the ongoing maintenance of the church."

There were lifetime achievement awards presented.

One went to the late Carlton Reese, who is known for writing songs for marchers during the Birmingham Civil Rights Movement.

He also started a choir, which performed at the event.

Reese's wife was there to accept her late husband's award.

The former governor of Mississippi, William Winter, was also honored.

And a distinguished service award went to Operation New Birmingham.

People in the audience read the Birmingham pledge aloud together, vowing to treat others with dignity and respect and discourage racism.