Heather Heyer died as she lived: fighting against injustice and advocating for marginalized people. On Saturday, Heyer joined a protest against white nationalists and neo-Nazis who had gathered in Charlottesville, Virginia. When a 20-year-old man from Ohio plowed into the crowd of protesters with his car, Heyer was killed, and 19 others were injured. A public memorial service was held in her honor on Wednesday in Charlottesville, and in an emotional eulogy, Heyer's father told the mourning crowd how proud he was of her daughter, and implored the country to "forgive each other."
Mark Heyer fondly recalled his daughter's passion, and how she fought for what she believed in ever since she was young. He discussed his daughter's love for people, no matter where they were from, and urged the crowd to follow her example and "put down hate."
Earlier this week, Mark told the Asburg Park Press that he has forgiven the white supremacist who killed his daughter. During the memorial service, he reiterated this forgiveness, explaining that his daughter wanted equality. Toward the end of his speech, he became overwhelmed with emotion, and he concluded by expressing his pride in his daughter's desire to befriend people from so many different backgrounds.
"That's how Heather was," Mark said. "It didn't matter who you were or where you were from; she loved you and that was it. You were stuck. So for that, I'm truly proud of my daughter."
Read the full transcript of Mark Heyer's speech below: