On Wednesday, August 16th, UVA students marched the path trudged by white supremacists; rather than hate, this march was for love.
At around 9:00 pm, students gathered at Nameless Field for a candlelight vigil. The “Take Back the Lawn” march then retraced the steps from Saturday’s bloodshed, singing “This Land is Your Land,” “This Little Light of Mine,” and more. A moment of silence was held for Heather Heyer, the woman killed by a white nationalist terrorist, and for state troopers H. Jay Cullen and Berke Bates who were killed in a helicopter crash patrolling the rally. “Still I Rise,” a poem by Maya Angelou, was read, and the night ended with the chant “Love Wins. Love Wins.”
Students, faculty, staff, and others were in attendance. Ryan Keen, a student organizer for the event, said “The greatest power we have to heal is our ability to support each other…We have to show what we stand for and what it means to be inclusive. We will not stand for the hate that has been shown here.”
Students say more events are being planned as demonstrations of hope and unity. As Charlottesville experienced one of the worst displays of America’s character on Saturday, the UVA community is looking to overcome those displays going forward. Professor John Dillery says, “The marchers last weekend stained our University and we had to do something to reclaim it…We need to show that we as a community reject their values and to come together and affirm that to each other.”
Read UVA’s account of the event here.
(Photo of vigil for Richard W. Collins III. Courtesy of The Diamondback)
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