Bell, Sewell ask for Congressional Gold Medal for bombing victims

Program for the 49th Observance of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing. (

"Birmingham serves as a reminder to the rest of the world that out of despair there is hope," Congresswoman Terri Sewell said.

Representative Sewell and Birmingham Mayor William Bell are asking for the Congressional Gold Medal to honor the lives lost September 15, 1963.

"We believe it is befitting that during this year, 2013, that we pay tribute and honor to Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson and Denise McNair, posthumously," Sewell said in Washington D.C., Tuesday.

But Birmingham City Council President Roderick Royal says the four girls killed at 16th Street Baptist Church isn't the whole story.

"A complete telling of the story should also include the two young men who were also killed," Royal said.

Council passed a resolution, Tuesday, asking the mayor to include the names of 16-year-old Johnny Robinson and 13-year-old Virgil Ware. Both boys were shot and killed the same day.

"If we need to tell the story accurately, we certainly need to do it this year in the 50th year," Royal said.

Bell was not available for comment for the request. Tuesday, in Washington, he did say it's on today's generation to remember those lost.

"It's a responsibility on my shoulders, as well as the congress woman's shoulders to make sure that we live out their dreams, we live out their hopes and we pass that dream on to the next generation, 50-years forward," Bell said.