Here’s a message we all need to hear right now:
After recent violence in Charlottesville, Virginia involving white supremacy groups and counter-protesters, the father of the woman who was killed after the rally spoke out against hatred and offered a different message: forgiveness and love. “I just think about what the Lord said on the cross, ‘Forgive them. They don’t know what they’re doing,’” Mark Heyer said Monday, according to USA Today. “I include myself in that in forgiving the guy who did this,” he said.
Mark Heyer is the father of Heather Heyer, the 32 year-old woman who was fatally hit by a car after the “Unite the Right” rally near the University of Virginia on Saturday. The rally drew white supremacists including neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klan members, who were protesting the proposed removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee in the park downtown. Heather was among the group of counter-protesters who were standing against the Unite the Right rally, which also included various religious leaders and the Black Lives Matter movement.
Heather grew up near Charlottesville and was a paralegal at Miller Law Group. The law firm called Heather an “irreplaceable asset,” and noted her “big heart for people.” She was known in her community for standing up for the marginalized in society. “She was a strong woman who had passionate opinions about the equality of everyone, and she tried to stand up for that,” her father said. “With her, it wasn’t lip service. It was real… it was something that she wanted to share with everyone,” he continued, saying “she had more courage than I did.”
Heather’s mother, Susan Bro, also noted her daughter’s passion for others, saying that “it was important to her to speak up for people who were not being heard.”