Carolyn McKinstry speaks at Samford University

(Kaitlin McCulley/CBS42)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – Students and faculty members at Samford University heard from a woman on Wednesday who was inside the 16th Street Baptist Church when it was bombed in 1963.

Carolyn McKinstry was 15 years old at the time of the bombing.

She walked by the girls restroom and spoke with two of the girls who died just minutes before the bomb went off.

Since that day, she has spent her life telling her story and spreading a message of love and forgiveness across the country.

“We’ve seen what hate can do, let’s choose love today. Sunday is a national day of forgiveness,” McKinstry said. “We’re asking pulpits across the country to speak and preach about healing and forgiveness. So we’re just asking everyone to walk on that journey.”

Copyright 2013 WIAT-TV CBS 42


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