WASHINGTON — Alabama Congresswoman Terri Sewell is one of the lawmakers behind a bill to honor four black girls killed in a Sept. 15, 1963, Birmingham church bombing with the Congressional Gold Medal.

These four little girls represent a powerful symbol of our quest for freedom and equality,” said the Alabama Democrat, one of the sponsors of the bill that is to be introduced today.

The bombing ranked as one of the civil rights struggle’s darkest moments. The girls — Addie Mae Collins, 14, Denise McNair, 11, Carole Robertson, 14, and Cynthia Wesley, 14 — have long had a prominent place in the civil rights movement. Honoring their memory with the medal would amount to a statement by Congress that their brief lives were internationally significant.

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