Charlottesville street where Heather Heyer was killed is renamed in her honor

Four months after a Charlottesville woman was killed while protesting a white nationalist rally in her hometown, officials came together to dedicate part of the street where she had died in her honor.

Part of 4th Street was renamed "Honorary Heather Heyer Way" on Wednesday as a tribute to the late 32-year-old paralegal and civil rights activist who was killed when a car plowed into protesters gathered to decry a Unite the Right rally on Aug. 12.

About three dozen people gathered to honor Heyer’s life, including her mother, Susan Bro.

“I'm glad that they recognize what she means to the history of the city, but I'm also glad that she's only a small memorial because she's really only a small part of the rich history of the city,” Bro told WCAV-TV.

RELATED: Charlottesville rally victim Heather Heyer's memorial

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Charlottesville rally victim Heather Heyer's memorial
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Charlottesville rally victim Heather Heyer's memorial
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - AUGUST 16: People embrace at the spot where Heather Heyer was killed and 19 others injured when a car slammed into a crowd of people protesting against a white supremacist rally, August 16, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia. Charlottesville will held a memorial service for Heyer Wednesday, four days after she was killed when a participant in a white nationalist, neo-Nazi rally allegedly drove his car into the crowd of people demonstrating against the 'alt-right' gathering. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Car attack victim Heather Heyer's mother Susan Bro is embraced by Heyer coworker/supervisor Alfred Wilson at her memorial service inside the Paramount Theater in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 16. 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Car attack victim Heather Heyer's mother Susan Bro passes a picture of her daughter after speaking at her memorial service inside the Paramount Theater in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 16. 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Mourners attend a memorial service inside the Paramount Theater for car attack victim Heather Heyer in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 16. 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Car attack victim Heather Heyer's cousin Diana Ratcliff fights back tears as she speaks at a memorial service for Heyer inside the Paramount Theater in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 16. 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Car attack victim Heather Heyer's mother Susan Bro is embraced by Heyer coworker/supervisor Alfred Wilson at her memorial service inside the Paramount Theater in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 16. 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Car attack victim Heather Heyer's mother Susan Bro passes a picture of her daughter after speaking at her memorial service inside the Paramount Theater in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 16. 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Car attack victim Heather Heyer's father Mark Heyer arrives for her memorial service inside the Paramount Theater in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 16. 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
People line up to attend the memorial service for Heather Heyer, who was killed at in a far-right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 16, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe waits to make a statement after the memorial service for Heather Heyer, who was killed when a suspected white nationalist crashed his car into anti-racist demonstrators in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 16, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Car attack victim Heather Heyer's mother Susan Bro receives a standing ovation during her remarks at a memorial service for her daughter at the Paramount Theater in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S. August 16, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Car attack victim Heather Heyer's mother Susan Bro takes the stage to speak at a memorial service for her daughter at the Paramount Theater in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S. August 16, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
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The car that struck and killed Heyer was driven by 20-year-old James Alex Fields Jr., who was described as an admirer of Adolf Hitler and Nazism.

He has been charged with first-degree murder in her killing, an upgrade to the original charge of second-degree murder.

“I was relieved to see evidence I believe validated the stronger charge,” Bro told The Associated Press in an interview Tuesday.

Since Heyer’s death, Bro said she has received hate mail and death threats and buried her daughter at an undisclosed location to ensure her remains will rest in peace.

A makeshift memorial quickly popped up for Heyer in the spot where she was killed, and Wednesday’s dedication made a form of tribute permanent.

A person must have made an important contribution to Charlottesville or represent a part of its history to be deemed an appropriate candidate to name a street after.

The Charlottesville City Council approved the measure to designate part of 4th Street “Honorary Heather Heyer Way” in October.

“At the request of the family, dedicating the street ‘Heather Heyer Way,’ as a memorial to her tenacity and the fight for social justice, is a small step that we could do to change the city for the better,” Charlottesville Mayor Michael Signer said.

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