The four girls killed in a church bombing in Birmingham in 1963 were remembered over the weekend during a memorial service on the attack’s 55th anniversary.
Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Cynthia Wesley, and Carole Robertson were all killed September 15, 1963 when a bomb placed by Ku Klux Klan members ripped through Birmingham’s Sixteenth Street Baptist Church.
Saturday’s service also honored two boys, Johnny Robinson, Jr. and Virgil Ware, killed in separate incidents shortly after the bombing.
Speakers at the service reportedly spoke of remembrance and reconciliation and also to guard against the hateful beliefs that led to the bombing.
U.S. Senator Doug Jones, who prosecuted two of the four men responsible for the bombing, gave the keynote address. He urged attendees to speak out against hateful rhetoric when it occurs, saying it was the speech of segregationist politicians that paved the way for attacks on African Americans.