Grand Rapids mourns Charlottesville victims with march, vigil

Local vigils after rally

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - Hundreds came together in Grand Rapids on Sunday, Aug. 13, after one person was killed and several more hurt at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Chants of "Heather Heyer" could be heard throughout downtown Grand Rapids as hundreds took to the streets to stand in solidarity for those affected by the incident.

"To see that tragedy happen, that could have been myself it could have been any of my friends," Rally organizer Phil Snyder, said.

"It made me very sad that this is happening in the United States, it made me very sad," rally goer, Lupe Ramos-Montigny, said.

A sentiment echoed by Emily Berlinski, who celebrated her birthday on Sunday.

"There wasn't a question when I heard this event," she said. "I called my family and said lets get here because this is how we should be spending our time, this matters."

The group marched from Rosa Parks Circle to Ah-Nah-Awen park where a candlelight vigil was held.

"It's important that we show they're not representatives of most Americans. There is resistance to this, even though it may not always be visible,"Snyder added.

Those at the vigil heard from dozens sharing their thoughts on race issues and what they feel needs to change.

"It has to start from the top and when I mean the top I mean the President of the United States," rally goer Lupe Ramos-Montigny, said. "He has to start changing his dialogue."

A candlelight vigil was also held at Hackley Park in Muskegon on Sunday evening in honor of the Charlottesville victims.

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