Remembering Viola Liuzzo

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viola liuzzo Remembering Viola LiuzzoA special memorial service is being held at noon Saturday at the crypt of Viola Liuzzo at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Southfield.

Liuzzo was a white Wayne State University student who was murdered by the KKK in 1965, when she joined a voting rights march in Alabama.  She was 39 years old when she was shot and killed by the Klan.  She was the mother of five children.

 Her daughter, Sally Liuzzo-Prado who was six years old when her mother died,  tells WWJ she still has vivid memories of the funeral:  Jimmy Hoffa was there, and UAW President Walter Reuther.  But mostly she remembers that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was there.

“The church was just packed,” Prado says.  “I was kind of getting lost in the crowd.  Dr. King lifted me up and carried me, and that’s something I’ll never forget.”  Prado says “He made me feel happy in a very tumultuous time. I didn’t have any concept of who he was really, or why he was so important at that time, I just remember liking him as a person.”

Liuzzo-Prado says she is working now to get a street in Detroit named after her mother.

The public is invited to the the ceremony Saturday. Enter the cemetery at 10 Mile and Beech Rd. and make a jog left to get to the mausoleum. Enter the mausoleum through the Handicap Accessible entrance on the west side and go up the stairs immediately to the left of the entrance.

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