Rep. Terri Sewell to families of 1963 church bombing victims: 'Thank you is not enough'

Eleven members of the Congressional Black Caucus and Birmingham elected leaders gathered Friday to honor the lives and legacy of the four girls killed in the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in 1963.

Congresswoman Terri A. Sewell (D-AL) hosted a panel and medal ceremony at the church. Congress awarded the Congressional Gold Medal to the girls this week.

Relatives of all four girls, Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson and Cynthia Wesley, attended the ceremony. Rep. Sewell, Congressman Spencer Bachus (R-AL) and others presented replicas of the medal to the girls' families.

"We thank the families for their sacrifice..still thank you is not enough," Sewell said.

Civil rights icon and Alabama native Congressman John Lewis (D-GA) urged the crowd to "stand up, speak up and speak out..the fight is not over" during one of the event's panel discussions.

Birmingham Mayor William Bell, city councilors and other civic leaders packed the pews at the church.

Stay with ABC 33/40 for more on this developing story.

Congressman John Conyers (D-MI)


Congresswoman Corrine Brown (D-FL)






Confirmed participants include:


Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX)

Congressman William Lacy Clay (D-MO)

Congresswoman Gwen Moore (D-WI)

Congresswoman Joyce Beatty (D-OH)

Congresswoman Yvette Clark (D-NY)

Congressman John Lewis (D-GA)

Congresswoman Marcia Fudge (D-OH)/CBC Chair

Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA)

Congressman G.K. Butterfield (D-NC)

Congresswoman Karen Bass (D-CA)

Congresswoman Robin Kelly (D-IL)

Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX)