BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WHNT) — Sunday marks fifty years to the day four girls died in a bombing that a nation is still remembering.
The Klu Klux Klan bombed the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham in 1963. Sunday that same church was filled with those members and visitors to remember this anniversary.
Sarah Collins Rudolph was there that day. She was directly affected by the racial bombing. “I remember how Denise came out of the restroom and how she asked my sister Addie to tie the sash up on her dress and when Addie reached out to tie the sash, the bomb went off,” Rudolph says.
Rudolph was rushed to the hospital that day. “I heard this loud sound boom! Then debris came coming in- came in and blinded me. And I, when I went to the hospital I had glass all in my eyes.”
She had her eyes operated on, and eventually she lost sight in her right eye.
She lost even more than that day though. “My sister was killed and all of the other girls I knew very well,” she says.
Now, she’s at the same church today, fifty years later. “I just had to, had to come because I loved those girls and it was very important that I come to really represent them,” Rudolph says.
Along with members of the congregation and visitors, standing side by side, she walked up the steps to the church. “It brings back a lot of memories, and it, and I just see where this city has come a long way, because we needed to have peace in this city, but I just hate to see that these girls had to die, just to get peace.”