Sarah Collins Rudolph was 12 years old when the explosion of a bomb, planted by the Ku Klux Klan, ripped through the basement of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., in 1963.
Her sister and three other young girls were killed by the dynamite blast, and although she survived, she lost an eye and was hospitalized for months. Since then, the medical bills and the trauma of that violent Sunday have haunted her.
On Tuesday, after 57 years, 15 days and multiple pleas for an apology and compensation, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey tried to make amends for the hateful attack.
"There should be no question that Ms. Collins Rudolph and the families of those who perished — including Ms. Collins Rudoloph's sister, Addie Mae, as well as Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson and Carole Denice McNair — suffered an egregious injustice that has yielded untold pain and suffering over the ensuing decades," Ivey wrote in a letter.
"For that, they most certainly deserve a sincere, heartfelt apology — an apology that I extend today without hesitation or reservation," the Republican governor added.
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