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Parents of Charlottesville Victim Heather Heyer Recall Her Strength, Ask for Peace

Heather Heyer

Heather Heyer's mother and father called for forgiveness in light of the hate that caused her death.

Mourners came out in droves Wednesday to honor of Heather Heyer, the 32-year-old woman who was killed when a white nationalist plowed his car into a crowd protesting the white supremacists' rally held in Charlottesville, Va.. on Saturday. Heyer's parents, Susan Bro and Mark Heyer, both wearing purple because it was Heather Heyer's favorite color, praised their daughter's strength and sense of justice as they refused to add fuel to the anger and hate gripping the country.

"They tried to kill my child to shut her up," Susan Bro told the crowd gathered in Charlottesville, according to The Washington Post. "Well, guess what? You just magnified her." She added that her daughter's death should be the beginning of her legacy and not the end.

"We are going to have our differences, but let's channel that anger not into hate, not into violence, not in fear, but into righteous action," Bro said.

Heyer, who worked as a paralegal, was a committed activist, friends recalled soon after it was reported that she died while standing up for what was right.

"You need to find it in your heart that small spark of accountability," Bro continued. "...You poke that finger at yourself like Heather would have done, and you make it happen. You take that extra step. You find a way to make a difference in the world."

Heyer's father, Mark Heyer, also spoke at the memorial saying, "No father should ever have to do this."

"Heather's passion extended to her ideas, her thoughts. She loved people. She wanted equality. On the day of her passing, she wanted to put down hate," Heyer said of his daughter.

"I came here today and I was overwhelmed at the rainbow of colors in this room. That's how Heather was. It didn't matter who you were or where you were from, she loved you. That was it. You were stuck," Heyer added tearfully.

But Heyer also asked for people to look past the hate and to forgive each other. "We just need to stop all this stuff and just forgive each other. I think that's what the Lord would want us to do -- is to just love each other."

Bro went a step further and said that hating James Fields Jr., the 20-year-old white nationalist who drove his Dodge Charger into a crowd of people, wouldn't help the current state of the country. "Our daughter did not live a life of hate, and hating this young man is not going to solve anything," she said.

Watch Bro below.

Watch Heyer's heartrending remarks below.

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Tracy E. Gilchrist

Tracy E. Gilchrist is the VP, Executive Producer of Entertainment for the Advocate Channel. A media veteran, she writes about the intersections of LGBTQ+ equality and pop culture. Previously, she was the editor-in-chief of The Advocate and the first feminism editor for the 55-year-old brand. In 2017, she launched the company's first podcast, The Advocates. She is an experienced broadcast interviewer, panel moderator, and public speaker who has delivered her talk, "Pandora's Box to Pose: Game-changing Visibility in Film and TV," at universities throughout the country.
Tracy E. Gilchrist is the VP, Executive Producer of Entertainment for the Advocate Channel. A media veteran, she writes about the intersections of LGBTQ+ equality and pop culture. Previously, she was the editor-in-chief of The Advocate and the first feminism editor for the 55-year-old brand. In 2017, she launched the company's first podcast, The Advocates. She is an experienced broadcast interviewer, panel moderator, and public speaker who has delivered her talk, "Pandora's Box to Pose: Game-changing Visibility in Film and TV," at universities throughout the country.