Families of Four Little Girls prepare to receive Medal - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Families of Four Little Girls prepare to receive Congressional Medal

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BIRMINGHAM - AL -

 

The Magic City is preparing to remember a pivotal moment in history.  Empowerment week is just two weeks away.  The end of the Civil Rights Movement centered on several key events including the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church.  The four little girls who died will receive the Congressional Medal of Honor in Washington. Tonight we spoke with family members attending the ceremony. 

"I think it was a pivotal point in history," Lisa McNair, Denise's sister said.

Just four months ago, local leaders and family members looked on as President Obama signed the bill - awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to Cynthia, Addie, Denise, and Carol. On September 10th, they'll return to the White House for the ceremony. 

"It's just going to be very exciting," McNair said. "We're really looking forward to it."

The decision to accept a Congressional Gold Medal on behalf of his sister, Cynthia wasn't an easy one. Birth and death certificates show a 50 year error. On every monument, his sister has been known as Cynthia Wesley. Her family says, that's not her name.

"That's been hard for me to think about that," Fate Morris, Cynthia's brother said. "I know she was never adopted - that makes it even harder."

Her brother fate told us Cynthia stayed with the Wesley's temporarily to go to a better school. He says when she died in the bombing - her name was linked to theirs and never corrected. He says his aim now, is to correct the error starting with the Congressional Medal.
 
"That's my family name," Morris said. "For 50 years, we've been unrecognized."

He decided to go the ceremony in D.C. After speaking with Congresswoman Terri Sewell.

"She will mention that her name is Morris which is great," Morris said. "That's the main reason what got me to go up there."

Family members tell us, they're hoping this award will demonstrate the progress made over 50 years.

"Hopefully people will learn from that and not be so hateful in the future and remember how hate and anger harms people," McNair said.

 

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