Charlottesville marks 2 years since deadly rally

By  | 

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP/WCAV) — Charlottesville residents are marking the second anniversary of a deadly white nationalist rally with a series of peaceful community events.

Courtesy: Kristen Finn

About 20 people gathered Monday afternoon for a moment of silence at the site where an avowed white nationalist plowed a car into a crowd of people, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injuring dozens more. Flowers and signs decorated a memorial to Heyer.

The Aug. 12, 2017, rally drew a mix of violent far-right extremists. Brawls broke out with anti-racism protesters, and authorities eventually forced the crowds to disperse. The car attack came later as peaceful counterprotesters were marching through downtown.

Two state troopers who had been involved in surveillance were killed when their helicopter crashed.

Other events marking the second anniversary included a ballet performance and a worship service.

Sunday night, a group of activists held a candlelight vigil on the Downtown Mall to reclaim the space.

The group marched through downtown Charlottesville and ended at the new mural honoring activists in the area.

Nancy Carpenter was part of the candlelight vigil and has a simple message for the community about this year's two-year anniversary of Aug. 12, 2017.

"I want it to be a peaceful remembrance of the terrorism that my community experienced two years ago," Carpenter said. "We do not forget the people who lost their lives and hurt. We also show that we can move forward and love and unity."

The group also hopes to continue working to create what they call "a beloved community here in Charlottesville."