President, victim’s mother inject new tone in nation’s post-Charlottesville discussion

by WorldTribune Staff, August 16, 2017

As heated rhetoric flew from many sides following the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, the mother of the woman killed in a car-ramming attack stepped forward to inject calm into the discourse.

Susan Bro, mother of 32-year-old Heather Heyer, has thanked President Donald Trump for his statements following the weekend’s violence that resulted in Heyer’s death.

Susan Bro speaks at daughter Heather Heyer’s memorial service in Charlottesville on Aug. 16. / Reuters

“Thank you, President Trump, for those words of comfort and for denouncing those who promote violence and hatred,” Bro said in a statement shortly after Trump called out white supremacists and other hate groups during a press conference on Aug. 14.

“My condolences, also, to the grieving families of the two state troopers and quick recovery for those injured,” Bro said.

Heyer died and more than a dozen were injured after James Alex Fields Jr., a 20-year-old reported Nazi sympathizer, drove a car into a crowd of counter-protesters in Charlottesville.

“I thought that the statement put out – the mother’s statement, I thought, was a beautiful statement,” Trump said. “I must tell you, it was something that I really appreciated. I thought it was terrific, and really, under the kind of stress that she’s under and the heartache that she’s under, I thought putting out that statement to me was really something I won’t forget.”

Heyer’s father, Mark Heyer, said activism was a big part of his daughter’s life.

“She was a strong woman who had passionate opinions about the equality of everyone, and she tried to stand up for that,” Heyer told Florida Today.

Heyer said he hopes his daughter’s death wasn’t in vain, and that people can learn to forgive one another.

“I include myself in that in forgiving the guy who did this,” he said. “I just think about what the Lord said on the cross, ‘Forgive them. They don’t know what they’re doing.’ ”

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