16th Street Baptist to hold Day of Remembrance commemorating 1963 bombing
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - On September 15, 2022, 16th Street Baptist Church will hold a Day of Remembrance to commemorate the 1963 church bombing.
59 years ago, an explosion killed Addie Mae Collins, Carole Robertson, Cynthia Wesley and Denise McNair.
Rev. Arthur Price describes the anniversary as a day to remember, reflect, and rejoice.
“We remember the victims, we reflect on the vitriol that once took place here in Birmingham, and we rejoice on how far the Lord has brought us from,” he explained. “Not saying that we’ve arrived, but we’ve come a mighty long way.”
It’s a day that sparked change in Birmingham and Alabama.
“That particular bombing motivated a movement,” said Rev. Price. “It galvanized a generation and they were determined to make the bitter days of Birmingham better.”
On Thursday, Rev. Price says they are expecting between 500-1000 people to join together.
The Day of Remembrance will begin with a memorial service and inspirational message by Dr. Tony Evans starting at 10 a.m. At 11 a.m., a ribbon cutting will be held at the 16th Street parsonage, marking the completion of the restoration and re-purposing of the 1914 structure.
At noon, a community luncheon will be held in the parking lot of the church on 6th Avenue North.
While there is a full day planned to commemorate the anniversary, Rev. Price says the big message is something everyone can participate in, whether or not they can attend the event.
“Never forget,” he urged. “Never forget our freedom is not free. That our freedom costs and it cost four girls their lives and that the rights that we have today came at a price.”
“September 15 is a hallowed day,” said Birmingham Mayor Randall L. Woodfin. “Four little girls lost their lives because of the hate that ruled in our city nearly sixty years ago. Today, as a Black man serving as the mayor, I stand in the light of their legacy in a new Birmingham – one of acceptance, equality, and love.”
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