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Public Statements

Senator Barack Obama's Statement on the 45th Anniversary of the 16th Street Church Bombing


Location: Chicago, IL

Senator Barack Obama's Statement on the 45th Anniversary of the 16th Street Church Bombing

Today Senator Barack Obama issued the following statement in remembrance of the 45th Anniversary of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham.

"Today, we mark the anniversary of the tragic bombing at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. On that Sunday morning 45 years ago, the lives of four little girls, Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson and Cynthia Wesley, were cut short by a terrible act of senseless violence.

"Four years ago, I stood in the sanctuary of the church that still bears the scars of that day. I saw the hands of the clock forever frozen at 10:22 a.m. and the portraits of the girls looking down on all who worship there, and I was reminded that their deaths catalyzed a movement. They didn't just bring about a change in laws. Their deaths struck the conscience of this nation. They changed how Americans thought and felt not just about their own children, but about other people's children and about one another, no matter who they were or where they came from.

"So as we pause to remember the tragedy in Birmingham, let us say a prayer. Let us pray that those little girls lead us today like they led this nation back then - that they lead us to think about what we can do to look after one another, to show kindness to those who don't look like us or come from where we do, and to undergo that same transformation that catalyzed a movement 45 years ago - a transformation of the human heart," said Senator Barack Obama.

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