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Heather Heyer memorial

'They tried ... to shut her up,' Heather Heyer's mother said. 'You just magnified her.'


Updated August 16, 2017 11:06 AM EDT

Charlottesville victim Heather Heyer is honored at a memorial service.

Updated August 16, 2017 12:00 PM EDT

Susan Bro, who is Heather Heyer's mother, urged listeners to follow her example and try improving the world.

"You never think you're going to bury your child," she said. "This could be a storm in a tea cup and it all can be for nothing."

"Anybody who knew Heather knew this is the way she had to go - big and large," Bro continued. "The conversations have to happen. If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention."

"This is just the beginning of Heather's legacy. You need to find that small spark of accountability. What injustice do I see? They tried to kill my daughter to shut her up. Guess what? You just magnified her."

Bro's remarks drew a loud and sustained standing ovation, particularly a comment she made about rising above mankind's worst tendencies.

"Let's channel that anger not into hate, not into violence, not into fear, but let's channel that anger into righteous action," she said.

Updated August 16, 2017 11:39 AM EDT

Mourners who spoke at Wednesday's service for Heather Heyer included former co-workers, fellow church members and relatives.

Many of the speakers praised Heather Heyer's desire for equality and social justice, while others addressed the circumstances surrounding her death.

"Thank you for making the word 'hate' real," said one person who said they were one of Heather Heyer's co-workers. "But thank you for making the word 'love' even stronger."

"She was not just a co-worker. She was a friend. She was a wonderful soul. We will all continue to have sleepless nights and our pain will eventually fade away. Our memory of Heather will forever live on."

Alfred Wilson, who was Heather Heyer's boss at the Miller Law Group, said he began weeping at his desk Monday after receiving emails from former clients celebrating her life.

"I pray and ask that our world will some how, some way, get to feel the love she had," he said. "She believed in each and everyone of us. She saw the good in all of us."

Updated August 16, 2017 11:20 AM EDT
Heather Heyer's father remembers her passion

The father of a woman who died during recent violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, said Wednesday that she had been taken from her loved ones too soon.

"No father should have to do this," Mark Heyer said during a memorial service for Heather Heyer, who died at age 32. "But I loved my daughter. And as I look at you guys, you loved her too."

"She loved people," he added. "She wanted equality. And in this issue on the day of her passing she wanted to put down hate."

Mark Heyer's remarks Wednesday followed his daughter's death four days earlier in Charlottesville amid violence there.

Heather Heyer died when a car drove into a crowd of people that was protesting white nationalists in the Virginia city.

"For my part, we just need to stop all this stuff and just forgive each other," Mark Heyer said of her death. "I think that's what the lord would want us to do. Just love each other."

Mark Heyer additionally noted that he was "overwhelmed by the rainbow of colors" displayed by mourners at Wednesday's ceremony for his daughter.

Mourners will gather in Charlottesville, Virginia on Wednesday for a ceremony cherishing a woman killed in recent violence there.

Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old Charlottesville resident, died last Saturday after a car drove into a crowd of people.

Wednesday’s service will take place at a theater in downtown Charlottesville, and attendees have been asked to wear purple, her favorite color, as a tribute.

Charlottesville erupted in chaos last weekend between white nationalists and counter-protesters opposing them.

At issue is the city’s decision to remove a monument commemorating Confederate General Robert E. Lee.

Two Virginia State Police Department officials were also killed Saturday when a helicopter carrying them crashed amid the unrest in Charlottesville.

The deaths have sparked national debate over race and how American society’s political ideologies treat it.

Susan Bro, who is Heyer’s mother, said she hopes Wednesday’s event is a fitting memorial for her daughter.

“I miss her so, so much, but I’m going to make her death worth something,” she told The Associated Press.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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