Heather Heyer remembered: ‘She wanted to put down hate’
Woman killed at Va. rally wanted to make a difference, family says
friends, supporters and other mourners gathered Wednesday in Charlottesville, Virginia, to honor a 32-year-old legal assistant who was killed when a car plowed into a crowd of people who turned out to protest a white supremacist rally.
Heather Heyer’s shocking death Saturday followed violent clashes with counterprotesters after Ku Klux Klan members and neo-Nazis descended on the small college town to rally against the city’s decision to remove a monument to Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.
“She wanted respect for everyone. In our family, all lives mattered, and she absorbed that really well,” Heyer’s grandfather Elwood Shrader said.
Her father, Mark Heyer, said she loved people and pushed for equality. “She wanted to put down hate. We just need to stop all this stuff and love one another,” he said.
Her mother, Susan Bro, up the Facebook post that peppered social media in the days after Heyer’s death.
“My child’s famous Facebook post was, ‘If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention.’ ” Bro said. “She paid attention. She made a lot of us pay attention.”
Bro said she hopes the memorial is just the beginning of “Heather’s legacy” and encourFamily, aged attendees to make a difference in the world.
“The reason that what happened to Heather struck a chord is that we know what she did was achievable,” Bro said. “They tried to kill my daughter to shut her up. Well, guess what? You just magnified her.”
Police charged James Alex Fields Jr., 20, of Ohio, with second-degree murder for allegedbrought ly slamming his car into counterprotesters leaving the area after police canceled the white supremacist rally.
President Donald Trump tweeted Wednesday morning about the service.
“Memorial service today for beautiful and incredible Heather Heyer, a truly special young woman. She will be long remembered by all!” the tweet read.
Heyer, who grew up in nearby Green County and worked at a law firm, was remembered by loved ones as a courageous believer in justice and equality. Family members said they hoped the memorial service would serve to spread the message of her compassion.
Heyer’s boss, Larry Miller, said she was active in the firm’s bankruptcy practice and was like a family member to him.
“She’s very compassionate, she’s very precise, got a big heart, she wants to make sure that things are right,” Miller said. “She cares about the people that we take care of. She’s just a great person.”