CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Those who loved Heather Heyer, along with strangers who have already elevated her into a symbol of defiance in the face of hate, gathered Wednesday at her memorial service to remember her as a born defender of justice who died for showing up when her beliefs demanded it.

“They tried to kill my child to shut her up, but guess what, you just magnified her,” said Heyer’s mother, Susan Bro, sparking an ovation from a packed theater in downtown Charlottesville, Virginia, that lasted nearly a minute and a half.

Virginia” s Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., were among those in the crowd. Two Virginia gubernatorial candidates also attended: Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam and former Republican National Committee chairman Ed Gillespie.

Heyer, 32, was killed when a white nationalist allegedly plowed his car into a crowd. The ramming followed hours of unrest Saturday between white supremacists and counterprotesters. Heyer was there to oppose the white nationalist rally.

As the political and emotional shock waves from the violence continued to roil the nation, Heyer’s family and friends filled the front rows, rising by turns to grieve and to galvanize. Her mother beseeched those who mourned Heyer to take up her commitment to social justice.

“I have aged 10 years in the last week,” Bro said as she struggled up the stairs to the stage. But once from the podium, she delivered a fierce call to those who knew her daughter – and those around the world coming to know her now – to make her death worthwhile by fighting “as Heather would do.”

“I’d rather have my child, but by golly if I got to give her up, we’re going to make it count,” she said.

Moments later, as the service ended, Bro implored a protester in the audience to stop her critical comments about President Trump by asking the woman to be respectful of her daughter. The woman, who called Heyer a hero, complied and there were no other outbursts.

Outside the Paramount Theater, just two blocks from where Heyer was killed, a handful of people with purple shields, pink bats and pink helmets with a heart drawn on each said they had come to monitor the memorial because they lacked faith that police would stop any “fascist groups” that might disrupt the event.

There were no reports of problems around the theater. A woman played “Amazing Grace” and “America the Beautiful” on the saxophone.

Inside, it was a time for shared memories, and intense pain.

“No father should ever have to do this,” said Mark Heyer, his voice breaking as he spoke from the stage filled with flowers and smiling images of his daughter flashing on the screen above.

Mark Heyer recalled raising a defiant, strong-willed and compassionate daughter who always argued for what she thought was right. He said they didn’t always agree, but he always heard her perspective.

“She loved people, she wanted equality,” he said. “On the day of her passing, she wanted to put down hate.”

Bro said Heyer would have appreciated the unusually public, occasionally boisterous service that attracted more than 1,000 mourners, many of them wearing purple sashes and purple ribbons, Heyer’s favorite color. The paralegal lived boldly, her friends and family said, seldom hesitating to call out injustices she perceived in society. And sometimes, as on Saturday, she put her body on the line.

That’s what Heyer was doing, her mother said, when a speeding muscle car rammed a group of counterprotesters during a white supremacist rally. James Alex Fields Jr., who had come from Ohio for the rally, is charged with second-degree murder in her death.

It was no surprise, Bro said at the service that Heyer went out “big and large.”