Addie Mae Collins.
Carole Denise McNair.
Their smiles were precious. Their love was vital. Their joy uplifting. The promise of a nation was written in their DNA.
And yet their lives were mercilessly, horrifically snuffed out in an act of hatred and cowardice 64 years ago today. Those for girls were killed when their place of worship, the 16th Street Baptist Church, was bombed by domestic terrorists.
People knew Bobby Cherry, Robert Chambliss and Thomas Blanton were the perpetrators. Justice never arrived for those girls and their families and their communities.
Sure, those men where charged and convicted in 1977, but when you have to wait that long for justice, law enforcement has already sent a message. The establishment has already sent a message. It is four simple words: Your lives don’t matter.
The nation still owes those four beautiful children. Their lives should be honored in communities large and small. Every church – baptist, Catholic, nondenominational, etc. – synagogue and mosque should have a shrine to them and tell how a nation failed them.