While the national media reported on the numerous peaceful vigils going on across the country Sunday, including one outside Trump Tower in New York, local residents were gathering in a display of unity of their own at the Wayne County Veterans Memorial in downtown Goldsboro.

Community members from all walks of life and of all backgrounds joined together in a message of peace in response to Saturday's outbreak of deadly violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Members of the Alt-Right marched into that city carrying torches Friday night for a "Unite the Right" rally that descended into violent confrontations the following day.

The clashes culminated in one man slamming his car into the back of another vehicle injuring several people and killing a woman.

Two Virginia state troopers were also killed when the helicopter they were riding in crashed nearby.

"You know this is the second time that they have gathered in recent months in Charlottesville," Charlene Clarkson, said.

Clarkson, 57, of Goldsboro, said she helped organize the vigil because she has a daughter and a biracial grandchild living in Charlottesville.

"It's because Charlottesville has decided to remove the Confederate statues," she said.

A statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee is slated to be removed from a Charlottesville park ---- pending the outcome of a court battle.

The park, also formerly named for Lee, was renamed Emancipation Park in June.

Other cities across the South, such as New Orleans, have also removed statues or are considering doing so.

"I think that is the bone of contention ... and it is horrifying to me," Clarkson said.

She shared a story of a recent visit she made to Charlottesville to see her daughter, a U.S. service member stationed there who is also caring for her mixed-race, 3-year-old child.

"We went to a little gift shop, and the cashier at the gift shop began to tell me how upset she was that they were removing these statues," Clarkson said.

"I don't know who she assumed I was, and so I told her that 'I don't agree with you, not everyone feels the way that you do,'" she said.

Clarkson believes the statues are a part of history and should either be displayed in museums or on people's private property.

"Whoever wants them should take them and put them on their own property. Private property, not public property."

About 30 to 40 people joined Clarkson under the pavilion at the veterans memorial Sunday evening.

Some where white and others black. Some where older and some very young.

All joined hands in prayer and each voice chimed in for a few verses of "This Little Light of Mine."

Among those in the crowd were two people, a man and woman, both black and both wearing shirts that read "Black Lives Matter."

Bobbie Jones and Larsene Taylor were both well aware of what had happened in Charlottesville on Saturday, and still decided to wear the shirts to convey their resolve in the message.

"Well, it's not like I can take off this skin that I am wearing. This is who I am," Jones said.

"And I need to do anything that I can to bring attention to the facts, however minor it is, that there are a lot of bigoted people in our society."

White privilege, he said, is as systemic as racism ---- one person in the crowd had categorized it as such earlier in the evening.

"Maybe you don't, but you'd be surprised at all the people who take white privilege for granted. And they don't realize that a lot of what they have got, a lot of what they do is a result of white privilege."

Kalilah Mischeaux, a downtown Goldsboro business owner, spoke about her parents who live in Chicago. They are both in their 80s.

She said she hates that they had to see the events unfold in Charlottesville after all they must have seen throughout their lifetimes, only to realize, as she put it, "it isn't over."

It might end in her own lifetime, she said, or in the lifetimes of some of the younger people in attendance, but it won't end in her parents'.

"Systemic racism," she said

"We each personally, individually, have to take a personal stand as to what you're going to do," she said.

Others in the crowd included clergy, retired military, and a nurse who said she works at Goldsboro High School.

Michelle Ricker could not hold back the tears as she talked about saving youths from giving in to hate.

"Working with a high school population, we all know that kid who displays the signs and symptoms that fall into this hate that welcomes them," she said.

"We need to grab those kids before they get to that stage -- the kid who is eating lunch by himself. The kid that doesn't smile, who doesn't have any joy in their life. The kid who feels alone."

She urged those present to reach out to the child and ask what is going on and make them feel like someone cares.

"When you looked at that rally, that rally was scary," she said. "Those are people's kids."

Goldsboro City Councilman Antonio Williams said he has vowed to work against racism and oppression in his elected office.

But the issues brought up in Charlottesville are not absent from Goldsboro, he said, reminding those at the vigil that some of the people at the "Unite the Right" rally were from North Carolina.

"It's here," he said. "It's here."

Clarkson, speaking as the event was winding down, said she was happy with the turnout, especially given that the event was put together at the last minute and people might have only heard about it via Facebook or through word-of-mouth.

"I think it's great. We need to continue. We're going to have to try touch base with everybody, try to get everybody to continue to be involved," she said.

The idea was floated that a Facebook group, or some regular in-person gatherings, could be held for all those in attendance and others who wish to be involved to take part in.

"I don't know how much we can change the underlying, what has gone on for years, they spoke about the KKK, whatever the group of the week is.

"I don't know how much we can change that, but we can be as loud as they are. Change is great, but you also have to be heard."

---- Staff writer Steve Herring contributed to this report.