United States Attorney General Alberto Gonzales attended a ceremony Monday in Birmingham, Alabama designating the 16th Street Baptist Church as a national historical landmark.
Gonzales, along with secretary of the interior Gale Norton, attended the dedication ceremony marking the church with the nation's highest historical designation.
Speaking before dozens, Gonzales said it was important to keep the landmark safe and the memories of those killed alive.
In 1963, four young black girls were killed during a bombing at the church.
More than 22 others were injured in the blast.