Charlottesville Dedicates Street to Heather Heyer
A Downtown Mall crossing is now officially named in honor of Heather Danielle Heyer, the woman who died after a car crashed into a crowd of protesters in August.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - A Downtown Mall crossing is now officially named in honor of Heather Danielle Heyer, the woman who died after a car crashed into a crowd of protesters in August.
The victim’s mother, friends, and coworkers joined Charlottesville leaders at the dedication for Heather Heyer Way Wednesday, December 20. The honorary title is for the portion of 4th Street NE that connects Market and Water streets.
“It's where people remember Heather,” said Susan Bro, Heather’s mother.
Thirty-two-year-old Heyer died while she was marching in the 4th Street area with people protesting the Unite the Right rally on August 12.
“It's always hard for me to come to this street. I find it easier to go to the cemetery than I find it to come here frankly,” Heather’s mother said.
Mayor Mike Signer read the city's proclamation Wednesday morning, recognizing Heyer for her dedication to justice.
“This honorary designation pays tribute to Ms. Heyer's dedication to justice, fairness, equal rights for all and positive social change,” said the mayor.
Bro said she wants people passing by to realize her daughter was an ordinary person who stood up for what she believed in and made an extraordinary impact in this city and around the world.
“I'm glad that they recognize what she means to the history of the city, but I'm also glad that she's only a small memorial because she's really only a small part of the rich history of this city,” said the mother. “The city's been around awhile, and we've got a little bit of catching up to do on naming some parks and streets and things from other people and events in this town.”
“It's more than just not being forgotten. It's about her legacy and what she stood for,” said Mark Heyer, Heather’s father.
Alfred Wilson, Heather's boss at the Miller Law Group is helping Bro run the foundation set up in her daughter's name to support people making positive social change. They're getting ready to announce some of the first scholarships from that fund.
He said it's fitting that a street connecting both sides of the Downtown Mall is named in her honor, because Heyer lived to connect people in her community.
“She was a connection. She was trying to be a connection to all kind of races, all kinds of groups, all kinds of sexual preferences. She wanted to be that connection, that bond,” Wilson said.
Authorities have charged 20-year-old James Alex Fields Jr. with first-degree murder, and multiple counts of malicious wounding, for what they believe was a vehicular attack on the protesters. Thirty-five people were also injured.