About 1,000 people gathered in Charlottesville, Va., to remember a woman killed during a violent weekend rally were able to mourn her death quietly Wednesday without the presence of the neo-Nazis who had threatened to attend the service for Heather Heyer.
Heyer’s grandfather said the 32-year-old always wanted fairness, even from a young age.
Elwood Shrader said at the memorial service that Heyer showed her passion for equality at an early age and swiftly called out something that wasn’t right. He told the mourners gathered inside a theater in Charlottesville that she wanted respect for everyone and believed all lives matter.
Mark Heyer, her father, began speaking to the audience by saying no father should have to bury his child. He said his daughter wanted to “put down hate.”
Heyer had joined demonstrators protesting a white supremacist rally in her town on Saturday. She was killed when a car plowed into a crowd of the counter-protesters.
Mark Heyer said, “Heather’s passion extended to her ideas and her thoughts. She could tell if someone wasn’t being straight with her and she’d call them on it.”
So far, there were no sign of protesters outside the theater. White supremacists had threatened to attend, but none appeared to be at the site. The mourners wore purple, Heyer’s favorite color, in her memory.
President Trump tweeted for the first time about Heyer on Wednesday, calling her “beautiful and incredible” and a “truly special young woman.” He said “she will be long remembered by all!”
Trump told reporters Tuesday that he planned to reach out to Heyer’s family. The White House did not respond to questions Wednesday about whether the president has contacted Heyer’s family.