CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBSNewYork) — Mourners honored the life of Heather Heyer, the 32-year-old woman killed over the weekend when a car rammed into a group of protesters demonstrating against white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia.
About 1,000 people, including Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, attended a memorial service held Wednesday morning at the Paramount Theater in Charlottesville.
Organizers asked people to wear purple, Heyer’s favorite color, to the service.
“The family is humbled and deeply grateful for the outreach and the outpouring of love from the community,” family friend Cathy Brinkley said.
Many in the community said they’re hurting and are still anxious but are focused on celebrating the life of Heyer.
“It was very emotional for me,” said Lynn Belvin, who lived just a few doors down from the Heyer family home.
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, Heather, that it ended this way,” said friend Feda Khateeb-Wilson.
Heyer is being remembered for standing up to white supremacists who stormed her hometown over the weekend.
“She wanted equality. And on this issue, of the day of her passing, she wanted to put down hate,” Heyer’s father, Mark, said.
Heyer worked in Charlottesville as a paralegal. Her boss remembers one of the last things she said.
“At one of the last staff meetings, she made the comment, ‘If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention,’” said Larry Miller.
Heyer’s mother, Susan Bro, said her daughter did not deny in vain.
“We don’t all have to die. We don’t have to sacrifice our lives,” Bro said. “They tried to kill my child to shut her up – but guess what? You just magnified her.”
Twenty-year-old Alex Fields Jr. is facing multiple charges, including second-degree murder, in Heyer’s death.
President Donald Trump tweeted for the first time about Heather Heyer. He called her “beautiful and incredible” and a “truly special young woman,” adding “she will be long remembered by all!”