In memoriam

Crowd packs into Charlottesville theater to say emotional farewell to Heather Heyer

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - AUGUST 14: A protesters carries an image of Heather Heyer during a demonstration against racism and the violence over the weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

A memorial service was held Wednesday in Charlottesville for Heather Heyer, the 32-year-old woman who was killed on Saturday when a car rammed into counter-protesters at a white nationalist rally. More than 1,000 were estimated in attendance at the Charlottesville Paramount Theater, with many family and friends dressed in purple, Heather’s favorite color. Family members paid tribute to Heather for being a kind woman who was always fighting for what’s right.

Heather’s mother, Susan Bro, who gave several emotional interviews this week shared memories of dinners filled with conversations, and referred to her daughter’s final Facebook post that read, “if you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention.” She encouraged those in the room to “find in your heart that small spark of accountability, what is there that I can do to make the world a better place.” She said she hoped that Heather’s life and death would inspire others to have the courage to fight what they believe to be an injustice. Watch her full speech below.

Her father, Mark Heyer, was overcome with grief during his remarks, and told mourners he was moved by “the rainbow of colors in this room. That’s how Heather was,” he said. Mark Heyer shared how proud he was of his slain daughter. “It didn’t matter who you were or where you were from. If she loved you, that was it,” he said. See some of his remarks in the video below.

Diana Ratcliff, Heather’s older cousin, read from a letter in which she expressed her admiration for the brave young woman who, she said, “will always be in our hearts.” Heather’s grandfather, Elwood Shrader, described her as a passionate young woman, and recalled the animated stories she told after coming home after school. He also talked about Heather’s yearning for justice from an early age and her ability to “call out something that didn’t seem right to her.”

Read the full story at ABC News.


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