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Heather Heyer memorial in Charlottesville, VA
Charlottesville, Va. Police officers stand outside the Paramount Theatre in Charlottesville, Va., Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017, before a memorial service for Heather Heyer. Heyer was killed when a car rammed into a crowd of people protesting a white nationalist rally that descended into violence last weekend. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Marchers rejected hate and violence during a candlelight vigil in Charlottesville


Hundreds of people marched in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Wednesday night in a candlelight vigil rejecting hate and violence following recent turmoil there.

Participants peacefully gathered and slowly walked across the University of Virginia’s campus, singing spirituals and observing a moment of silence for the three lives lost last weekend.

Demonstrators sang tunes including “This Land Is Your Land,” “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” and others during Wednesday evening’s event.

CNN estimated on Twitter that night that more than 750 people showed up for the vigil.


Wednesday’s scene stood in stark contrast to last Friday, when hundreds of white nationalists marched across UVA’s campus carrying torches and chanting slogans.

White nationalists and counterprotesters then erupted in violence Saturday, with three people dying in relation to the unrest.

One person died when a car drove into counterprotesters, and two Virginia state troopers were also killed in a helicopter crash linked to the chaos in Charlottesville.

Wednesday’s vigil followed a memorial service for 32-year-old Heather Heyer, the Charlottesville woman who died during last weekend’s automobile incident.

Susan Bro, who is Heyer’s mother, urged listeners to follow her daughter’s example and try improving the world during the emotional ceremony.

“Anybody who knew Heather knew this is the way she had to go – big and large,” she said. “The conversations have to happen. If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention.”

“They tried to kill my daughter to shut her up,” Bro added. “Guess what? You just magnified her.”

White nationalists initially gathered in Charlottesville to demonstrate against the removal of a Confederate statue there.

Last weekend’s bloodshed there has sparked national debate over race, its place in U.S. history and how it impacts society today.

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