Heather Heyer's mom: 'They tried to kill my child to shut her up'
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (WWBT) - More than 2,000 people filled the Paramount Theater and the overflow section to join Heather Heyer's family to honor a life they say was dedicated to making a difference.
The mother of Heather Heyer, the woman who died during a protest in Charlottesville on Saturday, had a message for her daughter's killer: "They tried to kill my child to shut her up. Guess what? You just magnified her."
Susan Bro was one of eight people who spoke at Heyer's memorial service on Wednesday at The Paramount Theater in Charlottesville.
Bro said after Saturday's violent protests that it's time to channel anger "to righteous action."
"If I can't have my child, we're going to make it count," she said.
Heyer was remembered by her friends, family and colleagues as a passionate woman.
"She showed her passion at an early age," said her grandfather Elwood Shrader during a memorial service at The Paramount Theater on Wednesday. "She could call out something that wasn't right."
"All I remember is Heather's passion," said her father Mark Heyer. "It extended to her life, her thoughts."
Her grandfather, cousins and a friend also spoke. They say she believed in justice and equality for all.
"I was overwhelmed at the rainbow of colors in this room," said Mark Heyer. "That's how Heather was. It didn't matter who you were or where you were from. If she loved you, that was it, you were stuck. For that, I am truly proud of my daughter."
Mark Heyer says it's time to stop violence and bickering and "love one another. I think that's what the Lord would want."
Attendees were decked out in purple, Heyer's favorite color, in her memory.
"In earlier years, she wanted fairness and justice, she wanted everyone to get equal respect," said Shrader.
"She was a lady of happiness and joy and for her, all lives matter," he said.
Diana Ratcliff, one of Heather's cousins said Heather is now "in a better place."
"There is no sadness, no hunger, no hate," said Ratcliff.
Heyer's friend Feda Khateeb Wilson also described her passion and her belief that the "world can change."
"Thank you for making the word 'hate' real," Wilson said, and "for making the word 'love' stronger."
Heather's supervisor at the law firm, Alfred Wilson, also took the stage. He said even though she only had a high school degree and had only worked as a waitress, he hired her as a paralegal because of the way she could connect to people. He also said she broke up with a man who did not like that her boss is black.
"Heather would always have that fight and compassion in her," said her friend and co-worker Alfred Wilson.
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