Last Friday, Mrs. Myrlie Evers-Williams turned 90, and she has lost none of the desire and determination to rid America of racism, calling it a “nasty disease.”
Over the years, the widow of Medgar Evers has been relentless in her drive to keep his memory and legacy alive and burning.
We share her commitment and extend it in our demand that the martyred civil rights legend be honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. For the countless number of
Americans afflicted with acute amnesia, a Medal for Medgar is puzzling—who was he?
He may be forgotten by many, but his horrific murder in the driveway of his home on June 12, 1963 in Jackson, Mississippi, is forever etched in his widow’s memory. She worked tirelessly to bring the assailant to justice, and in 1994, after juries twice were unable to convict Byron De La Beckwith, he was finally found guilty and sentenced to life in prison.
He died in 2001.
The medal is the highest civilian honor presented to individuals who have made exemplary contributions to the prosperity, values, and security of the nation, and in this context Medgar is more than deserving. Last year when Fred Gray and Diane Nash, two veterans of the civil rights movement were honored, there was wide discussion that perhaps Medgar could be next.
Readers can help us in this cause with their letters of support addressed to President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.
Medgar Evers was a fully devoted freedom fighter, and many were reminded of his heroic deeds in helping to bring the murderers of Emmett Till to justice.
Now it’s time for a measure of justice for Medgar, knowing a medal can only symbolize what he did daily in the fight for human dignity and decency.
This is the least you can do, President Biden.