Group Celebrates Peace, Verdict On Coast Beaches - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

06/22/05

Group Celebrates Peace, Verdict On Coast Beaches

June 21 is a day when many throughout the country celebrate peace--the first day of summer, also known as the Summer Solstice.

Summer Solstice celebrations were held on beaches in seven coast towns Tuesday night. As the sun set, dozens of people gathered on the beach near Courthouse Road to celebrate peace.

Just hours earlier a jury found 80-year-old Edgar Ray Killen guilty of manslaughter in the 1964 slaying of three Mississippi Civil Rights workers.

"I think that case had a lot of national coverage. I think it's long overdue, that someone was held accountable for what happened. So, yeah, I think it's a move in the right direction," Michael White said.

The slayings only fanned the fires of civil rights activists back in the 60s and ultimately helped bring about the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Many at the peach celebration said Tuesday's verdict will help heal the pains of what's considered Mississippi's bloodstained, racist past.

"I think that will help. I think that will close some of it," Gigi Hines said.

"It's a message to all of us: Just do right. It's so much easier. Better consequences," Jane Stanley said.

"I think it says that Mississippi is trying to right some wrongs," Minnie Weaver said.

by Toni Miles

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