Hundreds gather in Decatur for Charlottesville vigil

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A day after violence erupted in Charlottesville, Va., people organized a vigil to remember the lives lost there.

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Hundreds of people gathered on the square in downtown Decatur holding signs and candles. 

"The tragedy in Charlottesville--we needed to be here together.  Our whole community needs to be here together to make a statement to say that love is going to win," said David Soleil, who brought his children with him to the vigil.


Saturday, a group of white nationalists descended upon Charlottesville to show their opposition to the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee and clashed with counter-protestors. 

Organizers set up a table with photographs of Heather Heyer, Jay Cullen and Berke Bates who all died Saturday.  Heyer was killed in what authorities have determined to be an act of domestic terrorism when a man drove a car into a crowd of counter-protestors. 

Cullen and Bates were state troopers assigned to watch over the events.  Both perished when the helicopter they were in crashed.

Participants at the Decatur vigil paused for a moment of silence to remember each of the people killed, as well as those injured. 

They pledged as a group to respect those different from themselves, including the handicapped, people of color, and those who hold different political views. 

"We don't hate each other and this is what makes us great," said Sherica Freeman, who was one of the organizers of the vigil.  "We are a respectful people, a civilized people.  We are a people who stand up for what's right and all these people want to stand up for what's right.  And they want it to be known we don't hate and we won't hate and we won't allow hate to change who we are.  We're Americans."