The Four Spirits Sculpture at Kelly Ingram Park memorializes the lives lost during the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing on September 15, 1963.
The four girls represented in the statues are all shown in preparation for the Church sermon, just moments before the explosion that would take their lives.
The youngest girl killed, Denise McNair, is releasing six doves into the air as she stands barefoot upon the bench.
The second barefoot girl, Addie Mae Collins, kneels upon the bench, helping McNair with her dress.
Cynthia Wesley, the third young girl, sits alongside the others with a book in her lap depicting the words of “The Stolen Child” by William Butler Yeats.
The fourth girl, Carole Robertson, stands smiling, as she motions the other three girls towards the Church.
At the base of the sculpture, “A Love that Forgives” is inscribed, as it is the name of the sermon the four girls were to attend prior to the bombing.
Also honored is survivor, Sarah Collins; and two teenage boys, Johnny Robinson and Virgil Ware, shot to death later that same horrific day.
We had a very touching experience, taking the time to honor these children, their families, and their community.
Beautiful lives cut short due to ignorance.
Innocent lives, spent on hate.
It just isn’t fair.
Nothing will ever make it right.
But never let that make you passive in standing up NOW…
For what is RIGHT…
Forever in loving memory of Denise McNair, Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson, Sarah Collins, Johnny Robinson, and Virgil Ware…
From our family to yours,
You will not be forgotten.
We WILL do better.
Click on any photo for resources on learning about the Birmingham Civil Rights Movement.
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