2 Boys Killed Sept. 15, 1963 being honored in 50th Anniversary - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

2 Boys Killed Sept. 15, 1963 being honored in 50th Anniversary

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BIRMINGHAM - AL -
It's one of the untold stories - the day remembered in the end of the Civil Rights Movement. Not only were four little girls  killed in the bombing of 16th Street Baptist Church, but two other young boys were murdered later that day. The cases were never tried and often forgotten. But this year, a statue will remember their loss.

 

"All they talked about were the girls. It was 6 children that got killed that day," Denise Robinson Samuels, Johnny's sister said. "Not just only the four little girls. All their focus was on the four little girls. I was angry about that."

Johnny Robinson was just 16 years old. 16th Street Baptist Church had been bombed that morning and chaos ensued in the aftermath.  Police reported a group of boys had thrown rocks at them. One boy ran away from the crowd and was shot.

"It's always been painful," Samuels said. "It's never left me because we were very close. I had just talked to him."

Diane talked to her brother Johnny on the phone just before he was killed. He asked her to bring him food. When she arrived, he was dead.

"I threw the food in the air and I ran," Samuels said. "When I got to the hospital, my mom came out and said your brother is dead, your brother is dead."

Diane says she doesn't believe her brother would have thrown the rocks - she says he was merely in the wrong place at the wrong time. 

"All of them were running but he was the one who got the bullet," she said.

Her brother's death is still a painful memory as there was never a criminal investigation and no charges.

"We went back to school the next day," she said. "They didn't give us any kind of therapy or nothin. It bothers us. It's been bothering us ever since it happened."

Her mother likely suffered the most - spending time in the hospital with mental anguish.

"I just keep on going," Samuels said. "I put my trust in the Lord to keep on going. For a while I thought his death was in vain but I see that it's not."

She says she talks frequently to her children and grandchildren about the uncle they never had the chance to know. 

"I talk about him all the time," Samuels said. "I let them know who he was, what type of person he was. It helped the young generation to understand what it's all about from what's going on today."

FBI looked into criminal charges in the 70's but the officer who pulled the trigger was already dead. This year, Johnny Robinson and Virgil Ware will be  featured in the 'Four Spirits' statue in Kelly Ingram Park, as doves, along with the four little girls.

 

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