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Heather Heyer’s mother receives standing ovation for moving speech at daughter’s memorial service

On Wednesday morning, Heather Heyer’s family hosted a memorial service for their 32-year-old daughter who was killed by a white supremacist during the Charlottesville protests. Honoring her legacy as an activist for social justice, Heyer’s family said that her voice has been “magnified” after her death.

“I think the reason that what happened to Heather has struck a cord, is because we know what she did was achievable,” Heyer’s mother, Susan Bro, told attendees. “They tried to kill my child to shut her up. Well, guess what, you just magnified her.”

Bro received a standing ovation at the end of her speech, during which she also told attendees to reflect on Heyer’s goals in life and to consider her desire for accountability in the face of opposition. She encouraged them to work toward fighting injustice, just as Heyer did in her life.

“I want this to spread. I don’t want this to die. This is just the beginning of Heather’s legacy, this is not the end of Heather’s legacy,” she told listeners. “You need to find in your heart that small spark of accountability. What is there that I can do to make the world a better place?”

Heyer’s father, Mark Heyer, also spoke, focusing on forgiveness and ending hate. He said Heyer wanted to “put down hate” and said the world needs to “stop all this stuff and just forgive each other.”

“I think that’s what the Lord would want us to do. Just to stop. Just love one another,” he told the memorial service’s attendees. “I came here today and I was overwhelmed. 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. If she loved you, that was it, you were stuck.”

The memorial service can be viewed in its entirety on PBS NewsHour‘s YouTube page.

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