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On Friday afternoon, President Barack Obama signed a bill effectively awarding the four young victims of the tragic 1963 Birmingham church bombing with the Congressional Gold Medal.

Ku Klux Klan members used dynamite in the blast that killed four girls, Addie Mae CollinsCynthia WesleyCarole Robertson, and Denise McNair while injuring nearly two dozen others. The church was a frequent meeting place for civil rights leaders, such as Martin Luther King Jr.Ralph Abernathy, and more.

The Congressional Gold Medal is the highest award given to civilians, and includes a list of recipients, such as the many victims of the September 11th attacks in Washington and New York. The signing took place at the White House, after the President returned from Annapolis, where he delivered a commencement speech at the Naval Academy.

Several family members of the girls who were killed were in attendance in addition to members of Congress at the time of the signing.

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