"Four Spirits" sculpture unveiled at 50th anniversary of bombing - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

"Four Spirits" sculpture created for 50th anniversary of bombing of 16th Street Church

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"Four Spirits" sculpture in Kelly Ingram Park (Source: WBRC) "Four Spirits" sculpture in Kelly Ingram Park (Source: WBRC)
Pictures of the victims (Source: CBS) Pictures of the victims (Source: CBS)
Screen shot from funeral video (CBS Newspath) Screen shot from funeral video (CBS Newspath)
Screen shot from funeral video (CBS Newspath) Screen shot from funeral video (CBS Newspath)
Screen shot from funeral video (CBS Newspath) Screen shot from funeral video (CBS Newspath)
Birmingham, AL (WBRC, CBS, WOIO) -

More than 200 people turned out for the unveiling of the "Four Spirits" sculpture in Kelly Ingram Park on Saturday, September 14.

The "Four Spirits" was created as a memorial to the four little girls that died in the 16th Street Church bombing in 1963: Denise McNair, 11, Carole Robertson, 14, Addie Mae Collins, 14, and Cynthia Dianne Wesley, 14.

Carolyn McKinstry, a survivor of the bombing, opened the unveiling ceremony with a prayer at Kelly Ingram Park, across the street from the church.

"Teach us forgiveness, oh God. Teach us in the memory of four innocent girls taken from us too soon," McKinstry prayed.

Fifty years ago today on Sept. 15, 1963, in Birmingham, Ala, the Ku Klux Clan bombed a church that was used as a gathering spot for civil rights workers.  122 sticks of dynamite were used to blow a gaping hole in the church where four little African American girls would die as a result. 

In March 2013, President Obama signed a law to honor the victims— Denise McNair, Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley and Carol Robertson with the congressional gold medal.

Another little girl, Sarah Collins Rudolph, survived the blast.  Sarah was the sister of Addie Mae Collins.

Sarah says that on that day, Sunday school had just ended and the girls were all in the bathroom.

Although Sarah didn't die, she says her physical and emotional pain was great and can still be felt today.  She was seriously injured and had to remain in the hospital for three months after the explosion.  Doctors removed her right eye and she wears a prosthesis and still has pieces of glass in her left eye.

Today, on Sunday, September 15, 2013, Attorney General Eric Holder and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice were among those present at the site, to commemorate the tragedy. Rice grew up in Birmingham and knew one of the bombing victims.

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