This country never ceases to amaze.
Incredibly, a memorial sign that marks the place where a just-turned 14-year-old Emmett Till‘s mutilated body was discovered in a Mississippi river in 1955 is again riddled with bullet holes, according to a report by the New York Daily News.
We all mourn the tragic story of Till, a teen from Chicago visiting family in LeFlore County, Mississippi, who was kidnapped and brutally killed on August 28, 1955, for allegedly whistling at a White woman. His murderers, J.W. Milam and Roy Bryant, were acquitted by an all-White jury but later confessed to his murder in Money, Miss.
According to History.com, Milam and Bryant—the White woman’s husband and her brother—made Emmett carry a 75-pound cotton-gin fan to the bank of the Tallahatchie River and ordered him to take off his clothes. The two men then beat him nearly to death, gouged out his eye, shot him in the head, broke many of his teeth, and then threw his body, tied to the cotton-gin fan with barbed wire, into the river.
The News reports that in 2007, the Emmett Till Memorial Commission erected eight site-markers, including a sign at the location where Till’s badly disfigured remains were recovered from the Tallahatchie River three days after he was murdered.
NYU graduate school film student Kevin Wilson, Jr., who is raising money for a short entitled “My Nephew Emmett,” posted a photo last week to Facebook of the river site sign with roughly 50 bullet holes in it, making the sign’s words nearly illegible.
The News reports that the sign had already been shot at least 20 times from different angles. It also reports that an “Emmett Till Memorial” roadside marker in Greenwood, Mississippi, was stolen in 2007 and the bullet-marked sign at the Tallahatchie River site was ripped down by vandals in 2008, just after it went up.
The Emmett Till Interpretive Center is raising money to replace the bullet-riddled sign and fund the Emmett Till Memory Project, which virtually guides users to 51 sites around the Mississippi Delta that played a significant role in the teen’s murder and trial. So far they’ve raised over $3,000 of its $15,000 goal.
To donate, please go to the Emmett Till Interpretive Center fundraiser page.