Emmett Till sign in Mississippi vandalized with bullet holes -- again

Vandals shot up a sign in northern Mississippi memorializing Emmett Till, a black teenager whose lynching in 1955 was a catalyst for the modern civil rights movement.

The historical site marks the area where Till’s body was recovered from the Tallahatchie River three days after he was murdered. At least four bullet holes pierced the marker on July 26, just 35 days after the sign was replaced a second time.

In 2007 the Emmett Till Memorial Commission erected eight markers, including the river sign, around Tallahatchie County to commemorate Till’s death. The first riverside marker was stolen in 2008 and was never recovered. The sign was replaced later that year but was repeatedly vandalized by gunfire until it was taken down in 2016. The third sign was rededicated on June 21 this year.

“We are deeply saddened by this ignorant act,” the Emmett Till Interpretive Center wrote on its website. “But we know acts of hate will lead to acts of generosity and love.”

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Emmett Till is shown lying on his bed.
(Original Caption) Collapses at Funeral. Chicago: Luke Ward (center), junior pastor and theology student in Church of God in Christ, is comforted by Bishop H.M. Hooper of Risen Holy Nazarene Church (left) after Ward broke down at funeral of Emmett Till, 14-year-old Negro youth found murdered in Greenwood, Miss. Pastor at right is unidentified.
Young Emmett Till wears a hat. Chicago native Emmett Till was brutally murdered in Mississippi after flirting with a white woman.
Roy Bryant, one of two men charged with the kidnapping and lynching of 14-year-old Emmett Till of Chicago, sits in court on the opening day of the trial. With him are his wife Carolyn, at whom Till allegedly whistled, and sons, Lamar, 2, and Roy, Jr. (right), 3. Bryant and his half-brother, J.W. Milam, were acquitted in the slaying, but Milam later admitted that they had done it.
Mamie Bradley (L) speaking to anti-lynching rally after acquittal of men accused of killing her son, Emmett Till. (Photo by Grey Villet/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
Mamie Bradley, mother of lynched teenager Emmett Till, speaks with her father and a police interviewer, 1955. (Photo by Afro American Newspapers/Gado/Getty Images)
Ring found on body of Emmett Till. (Photo by Ed Clark/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
African American community gathers for the Emmett Till protest at Sharp St Church, 1955. (Photo by Afro American Newspapers/Gado/Getty Images)
Site of Emmett Till's kidnapping. (Photo by Ed Clark/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
Interior view of the packed seats at the Tallahatchie County Courthouse during murder trial of J W Milam and Roy Bryant, Sumner, Mississippi, September 1955. Till was a 14-year-old African-American boy from Chicago who had allegedly flirted with Bryant's wife, a white woman. (Photo by Ed Clark/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
People gather outside the Tallahatchie Courthouse prior to the opening of the trial of J W Bryant and Roy Bryant, accused of the murder of Emmett Till, Sumner, Mississippi, September 1955. Till was a 14-year-old African-American boy from Chicago who had allegedly flirted with Roy's wife, Carolyn Bryant, a white woman. (Photo by Ed Clark/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
ALSIP, IL - MAY 4: A photo of Emmett Till is included on the plaque that marks his gravesite at Burr Oak Cemetery May 4, 2005 in Aslip, Illinois. The FBI is considering exhuming the body of Till, whose unsolved 1955 murder in Money, Mississippi, after whistling at a white woman helped spark the U.S. civil rights movement. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
ALSIP, IL - MAY 4: A plaque marks the gravesite of Emmett Till at Burr Oak Cemetery May 4, 2005 in Aslip, Illinois. The FBI is considering exhuming the body of Till, whose unsolved 1955 murder in Money, Mississippi, after whistling at a white woman helped spark the U.S. civil rights movement. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
J.W. Milam (left) and his half brother, Roy Bryant (right) were acquitted today in the Emmett Louis Till murder trial. The two still face a kidnapping charge in nearby Leflore Co. Mississippi. This comes up next November at Greenwood, MS.
Mamie Bradley, mother of lynched teenager Emmett Till, meets white and African American members of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, New Brunswick, New Jersey, October 1955. (Photo by Afro American Newspapers/Gado/Getty Images)
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After the vandalism, the center created a fundraising page to raise money for Till-related initiatives, including the purchase of land to create a memorial park.

The center has not yet decided whether it will replace the marker once again. A signmaker in New York has offered to make a new one, Patrick Weems, a co-founder of the Emmett Till Interpretive Center, told HuffPost.

Till was 14 years old when he was kidnapped, beaten, tortured and shot after a white woman accused him of making sexual advances toward her in her husband’s store in Money, Mississippi. Two white men acquitted of his murder later confessed to killing Till, and the woman has recanted her allegations. No one else was ever charged.

The Department of Justice informed Congress this March that it was reopening the case, citing “the discovery of new information.”

Weems said he’s unwilling to let “one lone vandal stop us” from continuing the center’s mission of telling the story of the Till tragedy and leading toward racial healing.

Alvin Sykes, the president of the Emmett Till Justice Campaign, told Mississippi’s Clarion-Ledger that the sign should remain as it is ― bullet holes and all.

“The sign going back up is a sign of progress,” he said. “The bullets are showing how much further we need to go.”

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.
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