BEDFORD, Va. — Less than 100 miles from Charlottesville, where protesters clashed violently with white supremacists over the weekend, this small town of less than 7,000 put together a community healing event at Centertown Plaza where more than 50 attendees shared thoughts and held vigil for the three people who died Saturday.
Those gathered held signs and lit candles for the two Virginia State Troopers who perished in a helicopter crash while providing air support for law enforcement on the ground and for the 32-year-old woman who was killed when a car drove through a crowd of protestors in downtown Charlottesville.
The event was put together in less than 24 hours to synchronize with similar events across the country held Sunday night. Bedford United organizer Kim Kirsch said she arranged the vigil via Facebook after learning the closest similar event was taking place in Roanoke, Va.
Kirsch told the group she wanted the Bedford community to have the opportunity to come together on its own.
Speakers included Bedford Town Manager Bart Warner and other community members and leaders.
A follow-up event is scheduled for Sept. 17.