Historical marker honoring Emmett Till restored after vandals damaged it

LEFLORE COUNTY, Miss. (WJTV) – A historical marker honoring Emmett Till is restored nearly a month after it was vandalized.

14-year-old Till was brutally murdered in 1955 after a white woman had claimed he whistled at her.

The ceremony fell on a very special day for the till family. Today would have been Emmett Till’s 76th birthday.

To honor him dozens of people gathered outside of Bryant’s Grocery in Money, Mississippi to rededicate a historical marker remembering the slain 14-year-old.

“It means a lot to come out here and see this sign rededicated and see the diverse crowd out here it’s really great, and it goes to show you that hey the state of Mississippi is not all bad,” Till’s third cousin, Levon Kelly said.

Even after all of the pain Till’s family has endured, they were hurt to see someone so carelessly deface the memory of their loved one.

“I just want to say to the ones that keep defacing this sign you’re wasting your time because we’re going to put it back.” Kelly continued, “This marker is not bothering anyone is not hurting anything just part of history and just let it stand and let it be history so other folks and kids can come and enjoy it.”

This is the second sign honoring Emmett Till that has been vandalized in the last year.

Last year another sign was shot at least 40 times. The chair of the Freedom Trail Task Force says they’re working to find a way to keep this from happening again.

“There’s not much we can do, but there’s been some discussion about things we could do for this marker and other markers too,” Dr. Leslie Burl McLemore explained.

“We want the world to change we want everybody to get along, Lord have mercy on us, we want all the killings to stop we want it to cease we want it to change,” said Anna Laura Williams, a cousin of Till’s mom.

But one thing is for sure, this sign isn’t going anywhere.

“Cowards and people who don’t want to see progress will resort to these kinds of things but thank god we are willing and able to rededicate, and if we have to rededicate again we’ll just keep doing it as long as we need to because love conquers hate,” McLemore said.

WJTV reached out to the Leflore County Sheriff’s Office to see if an investigation into the vandalization, we’ll let you know when they get back to us.

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