While retracing the civil rights struggle I was fortunate enough, not by plan merely coincidental, to be in Birmingham, Alabama the same day as they commemorated the 59th anniversary of the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church. The church was packed to capacity with family members, visitors, church members, community officials and a large group of young school age children. The memorial also also recognized two boys that were killed that same day after the bombing and unrest ensued.
On September 15, 1963 the church was bombed, a terrorist act, that killed four young girls who were in the basement. Sarah sister to Addie Mae survived but lost her right eye. The church might have been targeted because it was a centerpiece of the African American community and because of its size and location served as the place where civil rights meetings and rallies were held. On that day two boys, Virgil Ware and Johnny Robinson riding on a bicycle were also killed in the aftermath of the bombing.
Being able to attend this memorial service was an experience that I will always remember for the reason and the message given by Dr. Evans. A sad day in history but the children will never be forgotten.