One of the best vacations I've had, was a road trip a few years ago, where we took a trip through Memphis, Tennessee (still one of my favorite cities) to visit family, on through Atlanta, Georgia (DEFINITELY one of my favorite cities) on to Birmingham, Alabama.
That's right Birmingham.
It was interesting because, having read about the modern day civil rights movement as a teen-ager until now, it was eerily easy to find my way to a place I've always wanted to see - Kelly-Ingram Park. This is the famous/infamous park in which Bull Conner turned water hoses and loosed dogs on child protesters in the summer of 1963. An amazing confrontation which led to the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
Having never been to Birmingham before, I didn't know that it is located diagonally across the street from the 16th Street Baptist Church. This is the revered site where four little girls were murdered in the Sunday morning bombing which gave evidence of the extent of white racist terrorism and extremism in the United States.
And, although I had heard that Birmingham also had a Civil Rights Museum (I've been to the one in Memphis several times - I'm due for another trip there!), I had no notion that it was located directly across the street from Kelly-Ingram Park!
It was an amazing stop along a wonderful trip!
What happened in this city is seminal to what our society is today. What we have resolved and have left unresolved, about race, faith, class and poverty have deep roots in what happened in this city that historic summer.
I'm sharing it because we should always remember, reflect and respond to the lessons the very existence of these places teach about justice, humanity and brotherhood.