Mother of protestor slain at Charlottesville rally keeps her daughter’s name alive one year after deadly attack

a state of emergency declared in Charlottesville
White nationalists, neo-Nazis and members of the "alt-right" exchange insluts with counter-protesters at the "Unite the Right" rally August 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The mother of Heather Heyer, the young woman who was killed at the August 2017 white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, is keeping her daughter’s memory alive by sharing the endearing messages and momentous that she receives from the supportive public. 

According to the New York Post, every few weeks, Susan Bro walks down 4th Street in downtown Charlottesville, Virginia, until she arrives at a brick wall covered in chalked messages like “Love over hate” and “Gone but not forgotten.”

“I come just to absorb the energy of the place,” Bro, 61, said Tuesday as she stood on the block now named in honor of her daughter. She intends to bring flowers to Heather Heyer Way on Aug. 12 before speaking at an event to mark the anniversary.

Heyer was fatally wounded when James Fields allegedly rammed his car into counter-protesters during the rally. 

Bro said upon seeing her daughter’s battered and broken body for the first time, she broke down and made a vow.

“I held her hand and said, ‘I’m going to make this count.’” 

She previously shared that Heather’s ashes are interred at an unmarked and “completely protected” location that can not be made publicly known because of all the extremists who profess their hatred for Heather and Susan.

“It’s a symptom of hate in society that you should have to protect your child’s grave, for Pete’s sake,” Bro said in a candid interview with The Daily Beast. “So, I’m protecting my child now.”

Susan criticized Donald Trump after the Charlottesville protests when he equated the white nationalists with the counter-protesters, saying there were “very fine people on both sides.”

Shortly after Heather’s death, Susan Bro launched the Heather Heyer Foundation, which, through substantial donations, has organized a scholarship program and plans to launch a social justice youth program.

“The issues have not changed. We still have police shootings, over-policing, a lack of affordable housing, the prison pipeline,” she said. 

“The point of Heather’s death is that we have a responsibility to rise up to address that hate,” Bro added. “Don’t sit by and wring your hands.”

In June, James Alex Fields, Jr., who was arrested in Charlottesville last August, was indicted on 30 counts, including on the grounds of committing a hate crime resulting in death and bodily injury, and racially motivated violent interference with “federally protected activity” of using public streets.

According to the indictment, many of the individuals gathered in the street that day were mowed down by Field as they chanted and carried signs promoting equality. They were there protesting against racial and other forms of discrimination, reports CNN.

The indictment alleges that as Fields prepared to leave for Charlottesville, a family member sent him a text message urging him to be careful.

“We’re not the ones who need to be careful,” Fields replied according to the indictment, and then attached an image of Hitler. He also used social media to promote racist views, including support for the Holocaust.