16th Street Baptist Church

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Crowds gather every year at Birmingham's 16th Street Baptist Church to mark the anniversary of the day when a bomb planted by Ku Klux Klansmen went off just before worship, killing four Black girls. 

16th Street Baptist Church bombing
AP

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Dozens of members of Congress are making a weekend-long civil rights pilgrimage through Alabama, visiting spots that were instrumental in the fight for equality decades ago.

The mostly Democratic group made its first stop Friday at Birmingham's 16th Street Baptist Church, where four black girls died in a Ku Klux Klan bombing in 1963.

Rep. John Lewis of Georgia, who was once beaten by Alabama troopers while trying to march for voting rights, walked slowly up the church's stone steps.

Sounds from Sixteenth Street Baptist Church

Jan 16, 2017
Sixteenth Street Baptist Church
Alex AuBuchon / APR

Birmingham’s Sixteenth Street Baptist Church held a ceremony yesterday afternoon commemorating the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Loretta Lynch was the keynote speaker at the ceremony, delivering her final speech as the United States Attorney General.

APR’s Alex AuBuchon was at Sixteenth Street Baptist yesterday and offers this glimpse into the ceremony, with excerpts from Lynch’s speech as well as U.S. Representative Terri Sewell and U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance.

Sixteenth Street Baptist Church
Alex AuBuchon / APR

Attorney General Loretta Lynch, in her final speech as head of the Justice Department, said worries of difficult days ahead should be a call for action, not despair.

Lynch spoke at Birmingham's 16th Street Baptist Church where four girls were killed in a KKK bombing in 1963. In the speech for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Lynch echoed King's words after the bombing to not give into despair.

Lynch praised the work of President Obama's administration to achieve justice for all citizens.

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch will deliver her final speech as attorney general in Birmingham at 16th Street Baptist Church.

The Sunday speech will commemorate Martin Luther King, Jr. and comes on the eve of the national holiday named for King.

Lynch has served as attorney general in the Obama administration since 2015.

The U.S. Department of Justice announced the visit Wednesday.