BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – A couple of weeks before the 50th anniversary of a church bombing that shook the nation, Fate Morris, of Birmingham, sat at his dining room table looking over old documents and reflecting on that tragic day in 1963.
“It was loud and it was powerful, powerful enough to shake the house I was living in. I lived about three blocks away,” he said.
While helping to clear the rubble at 16th Street Baptist Church, someone spoke the words no one wanted to hear.
“We heard what everybody had feared, and that’s, “I found a body over here.”
That phrase was spoken three more times, the words continue to haunt him almost 50 years later.
“I went home and my friend came by and said, “Man, why didn’t you stay? That girl they found with no head was your sister.” But I didn’t stay, I’m sorry, I’m so sorry I left her.”
Cynthia Wesley, as she’s known to the world, was actually Cynthia Morris.
During part of her childhood she began living with another family and took on the last name Wesley.
Her brother has spent 19 years working to make sure records list Morris as his sister’s last name, he says his mother would be proud to know that the world knew who she was.
On September 10th he will attend a ceremony where a Congressional Gold Medal will be given in honor of his sister and the three other little girls who died in the bombing.