Little Rock 9 student dedicates commemorative bench
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Elizabeth Eckford, one of the nine black students who first integrated Little Rock’s Central High School in 1957, has helped dedicate a commemorative bench two blocks from the school where she attempted to escape from furious and violent white protesters.
In a ceremony Tuesday, exactly 61 years later, Eckford discussed how alone she felt on the first day of school when the Arkansas National Guard and protesters blocked her entrance.
The 76-year-old Eckford walked a portion of the two blocks and sat on the reconstructed bench. She says she’s happy to return to continue to work toward “true reconciliation.”
Current students from Central High led the bench construction effort. They also created a companion audio walking tour app which guides listeners through the students’ journey to school that day.