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Birmingham sculpture honors civil rights victims

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama — A new bronze monument in Kelly Ingram Park honors the four girls killed in the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing.  The sculpture was unveiled during ceremonies in the park marking the 50th anniversary of the bombing on September 15, 1963.

Called “Four Spirits,” the life-size sculpture shows the girls on and around a bench, one tying a sash, one reading, one beckoning to the others and one releasing doves.

The memorial is on the corner of 6th Avenue North and 16th Street, facing the church where Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Cynthia Wesley and Carole Robertson died from Ku Klux Klan-planted dynamite.

The sculpture also pays tribute to two young black boys, Virgil Ware, 13, and Johnny Robinson, 16, who were killed in racially charged crimes that same day.