Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument sign unveiled


Rebecca Rakowitz

The brand new sign for the Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument was unveiled during a dedication ceremony Saturday afternoon downtown.

The national monument includes sites such as the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, the 16th Street Baptist Church, Kelly Ingram Park and other portions of the Historic Birmingham Civil Rights District.

U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell, D-Alabama, introduced legislation in 2016 to make the Civil Rights District a national park. She was not in attendance at the ceremony, but issued a formal statement expressing her pride in the city’s role in the Civil Rights Movement.

“Birmingham was the epicenter of America’s civil rights movement, and the Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument recognizes the remarkable contributions made by the foot soldiers and leaders of the movement,” Sewell said. “We can never repay the debts we owe to those who fought, bled and died to secure the blessings of liberty, equality and justice for all Americans during the struggle for civil and voting rights.”

Reginald Tiller, who has worked for the National Park Service in states across the country, is the acting superintendent of the national park.

“We can read textbooks and learn about different things, but I still think American citizens learn best when they go see, touch and feel the history that the National Park Service is preserving for future generations,” Tiller said in a video for the City of Birmingham.