Charlottesville Victim Remembered as Bushes 41, 43 Condemn ‘Racial Bigotry’

"I'd rather have my child, but by golly, if I've got to give her up, we're gonna make it count."

A portrait of Heather Heyer, who was killed when a vehicle drove through counter protestors in Charlottesville, Va., lies on a table with flowers during a vigil on the campus of the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Miss., Monday, Aug 14, 2017. The rally was held in response to a white nationalist rally held in Charlottesville, Va., over the weekend.

By Liberty McArtor Published on August 16, 2017

Roughly a thousand people gathered to remember and honor Heather Heyer in Charlottesville, Va. on Wednesday. 

Heyer, age 32, was killed on Saturday when James Alex Fields Jr., deliberately drove a Dodge Challenger into a group of people in downtown Charlottesville. Heyer was among a group of protesters that had come to counter a rally held by neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klansmen, white nationalists and white supremacists. Nineteen others were injured in the car attack. Acquaintances of Fields said he had expressed admiration for Nazis.

However, Heyer’s mother, Susan Bro, doesn’t want her daughter’s death to be in vain. At the memorial service, she said “conversations have to happen. That’s they only way we’re going to carry Heather’s spark through.” 

Bro encouraged people to channel their anger into “righteous action.” As examples, she praised some activism taking place in Heyer’s name, including a blood drive in Charlottesville on Tuesday, and a peaceful demonstration that happened Wednesday, where participants had “some difficult dialogues.” 

“So remember in your heart, if you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention,” she said, referencing the last words Heyer posted on Facebook before her death. She continued:

And I want you to pay attention, find what’s wrong, don’t ignore it, don’t look the other way. You make a point to look at it and say to yourself, “what can I do to make a difference?” And that’s how you’re going to make my child’s death worthwhile. I’d rather have my child, but by golly, if I’ve got to give her up, we’re gonna make it count.

“Heather’s passion extended to her ideas and her thoughts,” her father said. Mark Heyer continued, “She could tell if someone wasn’t being straight with her and she’d call them on it.”

President Donald Trump called Heyer “a truly special young woman” in a tweet Wednesday morning. 

Meanwhile on Tuesday morning, former Presidents George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush issued a double statement. In it, they noted that they are praying for Charlottesville. “America must always reject racial bigotry, anti-Semitism, and hatred in all forms,” the statement said. 

“We are all created equal and endowed by our Creator with unalienable rights,” they continued, citing the Declaration of Independence.

Funeral services to honor two Virginia State Police who died on Saturday are scheduled for later this week. Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates and Lieutenant H. Jay Cullen died in a helicopter crash while monitoring the Charlottesville violence.

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