A funeral was held Wednesday for James Ware Sr. at a church in Pratt City. Source: WBRC video
James Ware's son Virgil was one of two boys shot to death by white teenagers the same day as the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing. Source: WBRC video
James Ware died just a few days before the 50th anniversary of his son Virgil's death. Source: WBRC video
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -
Friends and family are honoring the memory of James Ware Sr. He was laid to rest in a Pratt City church on Wednesday.
Ware died last week, nearly 50 years to the day his son Virgil was killed. Virgil was riding bikes with his brother in 1963 when two white teenagers shot him. It happened hours after four girls were killed in the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing.
The family had felt the bombing overshadowed Virgil's death. In August, the city of Birmingham unveiled a bust of Virgil Ware and added him to the gallery of distinguished citizens. Family members say it was perfect timing.
"It was a blessing. Unfortunately, my grandmother wasn't able to see it. She passed away in 1996, but I think my grandfather was so content. And three weeks later he's gone. I'm so glad the city did something to honor our family," said Melony Ware, the granddaughter of James Ware, Sr.
Officials with the Civil Rights Activist Committee say they will work to have Virgil Ware posthumously awarded a Congressional Gold Medal, the same honor that was awarded to the four little girls on Tuesday.