Birmingham honors church bombing victims 50 years later

7:14 AM, Sep 13, 2013   |    comments
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(WXIA) -- Sunday will mark the 50th anniversary of the Birmingham bombings which killed four children on September 15, 1963.

The bombs exploded from 15 sticks of dynamite planted in the basement of 16th Street Baptist Church, underneath what turned out to be a girls' restroom. 

The bomb detonated, killing four young girls from ages 11 to 14. 

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The church bombing was the third in Birmingham in 11 days after a federal order came down to integrate Alabama's school system. 

Thursday, the United States Conference of Mayors hosted discussions at 16th Street Baptist Church. They talked about economic equality and building tolerance. 

The conference was held in Birmingham to allow the mayors to commemorate 50 years of struggle and progress for equality. 

"We see a duty to mark this 50th anniversary not as a time of celebration of achievements, obviously it's a time of mourning for those four precious girls," Mayor Joseph Riley said, "but a time to reengage, recalibrate and reenergize" 

On Sunday in Birmingham, a sculpture will be mounted to honor those four girls. It features the likenesses of the victims on a bench surrounded by doves. 

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