CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Hundreds of people gathered at Marshall Park in uptown Charlotte Sunday night to pray for the victims killed and injured in Charlottesville this weekend.
The vigil and rally was called in response to the violence and upset in Charlottesville, but also held a strong political message. The event was organized by Indivisible Charlotte, a group that stands against President Donald Trump.
"It broke my heart, I cried when I read the news yesterday," Cassandra Morse said.
Many of the people in attendance were there to push back against beliefs of the Neo-Nazis, white supremacists and fascists who rallied in Charlottesville, Va. They say what happened is a step backward for the country.
"Our grandfather's fought in World War II, against the Nazis to preserve our democracy, so what are these guys doing? I mean what are you thinking man?"
"My family came from Germany, fleeing Hitler, so it struck me a little personal of what happened yesterday," Morse said. "We will never let hate win again."
"I served in the U.S. Navy for 8 years and I cannot stand to see someone say they are an American and hold up a Nazi flag," Indivisible Charlotte Founder Scott Huffman said.
Several community leaders, NAACP, Islamic and church leaders addressed the crowd about spreading love. Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts was among those who spoke. She urged more people to reach out to others and accept them, even if their views are different.
She said Charlotte could easily be the next Charlottesville, so she hopes people will speak out before it's too late.
"We cannot be silent, and I think it was Martin Luther King who said it's not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends that's most challenging," Mayor Roberts said.