This afternoon, I had the privilege of attending the Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony honoring Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, and Cynthia Wesley (Cynthia Diane Morris) — the four little girls who were killed in the Birmingham church bombing by Klansmen 50 years ago this month.
The ceremony, coming just two weeks after the nation commemorated the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech, was a poignant reminder that great progress often comes at great cost.
Here at the SPLC, we remember Addie Mae, Denise, Carole, and Cynthia every day because their names are carved in the granite stone of the Civil Rights Memorial in front of our office. And though we take some solace in the fact that we filed a lawsuit that put the Klan group behind the church bombing out of business, we know that much remains to be done.
We honor their memories by serving those in our country who are victims of unfairness, those who are still judged by the color of their skin, rather than the content of their character. Thank you for standing with us and for all that you do to keep Dr. King's dream alive.