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You can honor Heather Heyer and other Charlottesville heroes starting today


Image: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old Virginia native, died tragically on Saturday in an incident that has since been described widely as an act of domestic terrorism.

Heyer and thousands of others protesters converged on Charlottesville, Virginia as seemingly every flavor of racist gathered this weekend for a “Unite the Right” rally. And now, one day later, the anti-hate movement across the U.S. is stepping up to gather again, this time in solidarity.

Starting on Saturday night and continuing through Sunday, organized vigils will give distant observers an opportunity to come together and pay tribute to the heroes of Charlottesville. The intent, according to The Indivisible Project, is to “[stand in] solidarity with our brave friends in Charlottesville who put themselves at risk to fight against hatred and white supremacy.”

Note the links at the end of that Facebook post. You can use the second one to find a gathering near you; all you need to do is type in your ZIP code.

If you’d like to honor Ms. Heyer’s sacrifice more directly, there’s also a GoFundMe campaign running right now. Her family is connected to it and, after it’s over, the funds will be released to whomever is charged with managing her estate.

There’s plenty more work to be done — hateful ideologies won’t disappear anytime soon. But watching an event like Charlottesville unfold in real time can be numbing, especially for those of us who couldn’t participate and/or don’t have a strong support network at home. The simple act of standing alongside other people who feel just as frustrated, confused, scared, and angry as you do is its own form of healing.

It’s important to never flinch in the face of this kind of violence, but Ms. Heyer and the others who gathered in Charlottesville bore the brunt of this latest outburst. Day-after vigils like these give the rest of us an opportunity to thank them in a publicly meaningful way.

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