Congress

Capitol tree planted in honor of Emmett Till

The gravestone of Emmett Till in the Burr Oak Cemetery in Alsip, Illinois, is shown on May 4, 2005 Till, visiting from Chicago, was kidnapped and murdered in Mississippi in 1955.
The gravestone of Emmett Till in the Burr Oak Cemetery in Alsip, Illinois, is shown on May 4, 2005 Till, visiting from Chicago, was kidnapped and murdered in Mississippi in 1955. Ed Wagner / Chicago Tribune

Emmett Till was remembered Monday at the Capitol, as lawmakers planted a tree in his honor on the Capitol grounds.

Till was an African-American murdered in Mississippi after allegedly flirting with a white woman.

“Emmett Till never got to grow to his full potential,” recalled Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, who sponsored thre tree. “In the summer of 1955, he was a fun-loving African-American youngster, just past his 14th birthday, who was visiting family in Mississippi.

"His brutal murder was followed by a gross miscarriage of justice that allowed his murderers to go free. Emmett Till’s death helped to awaken America."

The tree, she said, “will help pay tribute to Emmett Till and the transformative civil rights movement his tragic death inspired.”

Among others at the ceremony Monday were Attorney General Eric Holder; Architect of the U.S. Capitol Stephen T. Ayers; Sens. Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker, R-Miss., Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., and Janet Langhart Cohen, author of the play “Anne and Emmett.”

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