First, there were torches lighting Charlottesville’s night. Now, there are candles.
Hundreds of people gathered at the University of Virginia in Charlottsville and in other cities throughout the country for an impromptu vigil at the scene of Saturday’s violence and to pay tribute to Heather Heyer, the 32-year-old woman killed when a man allegedly linked to neo-Nazi beliefs reportedly drove his car into a crowd of counterprotesters.
Twitter buzzed with photos of the event Wednesday evening as the crowd swelled. Preston Willett, a reporter with the local CBS affiliate WCAV, tweeted a video of the crowd singing “Good Old Song,” the university’s alma mater anthem.
Moments of silence were also held for Heyer and two Virginia state troopers who died when their helicopter crashed as they monitored the white nationalist rally, the Associated Press reported.
Washington’s CBS affiliate WUSA 9 said the vigil began after local memorial services were held for Heyer.
Vigils were also held in Philadelphia; Akron, Ohio.; Nassau, N.Y.; and other cities.
I have struggled to let go of my anger over what was done to us last weekend, but seeing 5000 of my fellow citizens tonight sure helped. pic.twitter.com/7qCzfBaE1B
— Allen Groves (@UVADeanGroves) August 17, 2017
Still coming in. Candles. Not torches. Hope. Not hatred. Can't see how diverse crowd is. pic.twitter.com/Mo3fAUg6G8
— seantubbs (@seantubbs) August 17, 2017
I've never seen the UVA lawn like this. And this is only a quarter of the people here. Hundreds more marching. pic.twitter.com/t0ChLe1BuC
— Nora Neus (@noraneus) August 17, 2017
— Leo Lord-Jones (@leolordjones) August 17, 2017
— Preston Willett (@PrestonWillett) August 17, 2017