Following the memorial service for Heather Heyer, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine called for unity and peace in the wake of white supremacist demonstrations that took place last weekend.
“There is a beautiful spiritual that says ‘I’ve come a long way, lord, a mighty long way, I’ve come a long way, Lord, a mighty long way. I’ve born my burdens in the heat of the day, but the lord has made a way.’ We know this in Virginia. Virginia is a place of scar tissue, folks. We’ve experienced hatred. We’ve experienced division. We’ve experienced racism. That is a sad but undeniable part of our history, but we’ve come a long way. We’ve come a long way, under enlightened leadership. We’ve come a long way, fighting back the divisions and bigotries of past eras. We’ve become that state for lovers. We’ve become that Commonwealth, that community in recent years, not that we’re perfect in anything, but we’ve put away the evils and wrongs of the past, and we’re moving ahead. And there are people who want to bring us back to it, many of them who are not even from the Commonwealth, but they want to haul us backward. But, what Heather’s life shows, what this community shows, what Virginia shows, is we’re not going back. We will not go back to days of hatred and bigotry and division. We’re not going back. And no matter who tries to take us back, no matter who emboldens those who would try to take us back, we are not going backwards. This community of Charlottesville and this Commonwealth of Virginia – we’re facing forward, to be loving, to be open, to be welcoming, to be tolerant. That’s what Heather’s life means. And we will honor her if we continue and even accelerate that progress here in the Commonwealth. Thank you for being with us today.”