Today is the 53rd anniversary of the 16th St Church bombing. In light of all the terrorism in the world, is it still relevant to remember this event? Many more than 4 young girls have been killed in school massacres, movie theaters, the Twin Towers. What about that particular bomb planted in the dead of night at a black church in 1963 makes us pause in our busy days . . . and remember?
I’m not sure I can answer this fully. I do know that it is important to remember the awful cost of hate in any form it manifests and remembering one does not mean forgetting others. But that said, this bombing symbolized the cost of hatred in a way that brought to light how it had festered in our midst for so long and made us face that as a nation, opening a path for real change.
Below is something I wrote earlier this year, a chance encounter that made me think about this:
Another hot pink toenail story.
I’m in beautiful Charleston, SC and stop at a shoe store. Great shoes in this city! Am wearing a matching hot pink US Marine tee shirt (yes, really). An African American sales lady approaches and tells me about all of her many family members who are in the armed forces, though she stayed home to raise her children. As we chat (and I try on shoes, hence the toes get a part in this story), she asks where I’m from.
“Oh my father went to Birmingham a few years ago,” she says. “My brother’s school also went.”
I give her my “author” card, and she wrinkles her forehead. “You’re T.K. Thorne?”
I nod. This is a fun part for me, as people seem astonished at meeting an author. I get the same reaction when they find out this little silver-haired lady was a police officer.
But she surprises me when she says, “I know your name!”
Sometimes people think they’ve heard of you, so I didn’t think much about it, but she pointed to LAST CHANCE FOR JUSTICE on my card. “You wrote this book?
“My father went to B’ham for the 50th anniversary and bought two copies of this book! The author was signing them at the 16th Street Church.”
In fact, I was.
We chat a bit more and then she looks at me and says, “I feel like crying. Thank you for writing this book.”
“No, THANK YOU for writing this book.”
She repeats this twice more before what she is saying sinks in and then I feel like crying too. I almost didn’t write this book. There were lots of reasons not to write this book, but I am so thankful that I did. The words “honor” and “privilege” sometimes get bantered about, but at this moment, they really hit me. It was an honor and a privilege, and I will be grateful for having told this story and written this book for the rest of my life.
Last Chance For Justice: How Relentless Investigators Uncovered New Evidence Convicting The Birmingham Church Bombers
Your story gave me chills. Some people call them ‘coincidence’ I called them ‘planned events’ : “certain things must happen to move the plot forward” in life (as in writing). This is also brought out in NDE’s of the power we do have of which we’re not aware. After my now six year study on NDE’s (Near Death Ex) I’ve found I can ask for things and it/they appear. I’ve learned so much in research I doubt I’ll ever be able to tell it. I’m always amazed and delighted and say thanks to the Cosmos creator for however that happens. There is a verse in the new Testament (Mathew 7:7; don’t know if you know of it–plus it was on a show I watched last night “as I’ve been wondering lately of where in the Bible I learned such”–Lo and behold ‘it appeared on a cable show’ to answer my question) but it goes: “Ask, and it will be answered: seek, and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened to you.” That verse has been working for me so well it’s mind boggling. Esill started a class on The Dead Sea Scrolls and a Rabbi from Mobile is teaching it and adding so much more. You’d love it. He has slides as I believe he taught at a University in Israel, but many people are from his shul. I have two more weeks and just know I’ll wish it to continue longer. I can only hope Sarah and Warren are okay. It seems we’ve had the busiest summer yet, too much company, and things happening I wouldn’t wish on anyone. And my sister is in from MO. this weekend, next week company for a wedding,then a daughter and her children….and on….I really want to move to Alaska for winter! I NEED to ‘Be Still and know…” If you talk to them soon please tell Sarah and your Dad I have NOT forgotten them. I have not been to U.U. for many Sundays. But hubby said they were not there. And I do think of them so often. Are you really, REALLY retired?! Congrats if so. My sister has worked all her life, loves it, and has finally gotten down to working just one day a week, and she’s been retired many years! Of course she has the absolute ‘rarest’ of husbands who does everything inside and outside the house. He just ‘survived’ esophageal cancer and the week after all treatment, he was fixing something on the roof!! His hospital team and doctors are amazed at his recovery. So my sister ‘has’ to find something to do as hubby does it all at home. Take care, and good luck in your next projects, Beth Knox
WordPress.com | T.K. Thorne posted: “Today is the 53rd anniversary of the 16th St Church bombing. In light of all the terrorism in the world, is it still relevant to remember this event? Many more than 4 young girls have been killed in school massacres, movie theaters, the Twin Towers. What ” | |
Thank you for your interesting comments Beth and i will let them know your best wishes are with them!