We only have one wish for Andy and it's that he never be forgotten. Our wish has come true.
- Paulette Moffitt
Andy Moffitt was just a toddler when he moved to Ottawa with his family.
As a kid, he played in the streets and forests of rural Barrhaven, in south Nepean.
There isn't a more fitting place for a park in his memory, the name change unveiled at a dedication ceremony Wednesday.
It's been 12 long years since the 23-year-old Moffitt, a university
student, was killed trying to protect his friend from a knife-wielding
attacker at an Ottawa bar.
" Losing Andy broke our hearts and changed us forever," said Paulette
Moffitt, Andy's mother, as her voice wavered while speaking at the
" We only have one wish for Andy and it's that he never be forgotten. Our wish has come true."
The City of Ottawa officially changed the name of Barrhaven's "Edgeware
Park" - a forested area near where Moffitt grew up - to "Andy Moffitt
" It's a fitting memorial for Andy, to have a park named after him
because this was one of the places we would go to every single day,"
said Rod Moffitt Jr., Andy's older brother, holding back tears.
"I plan to bring my family and friends here."
The fight to keep his memory alive has been tough, says Paulette Moffitt.
Pleas to change the Canadian justice system were just as brutal on the family.
Moffitt's killer was released in August 2006, after serving only
three years of a five-year sentence. The family fought for years to have
him convicted, and later, to keep him in prison,
In 2004, they approached their local MP, Conservative Gord Brown, who represents Leeds-Grenville.
Brown made it his personal agenda to amend the Criminal Code,
introducing a private member's bill, Bill C-393 in 2005. It was adopted
into the criminal code in 2008.
This proposed " to create mandatory minimum sentences for carrying
a concealed weapon and for manslaughter on an unarmed person inflicted
with a knife that was previously concealed," according to the act.
It also reduced parole eligibility for these offenders, created a
second offence for carrying a concealed weapon and eliminates credit for
Twelve years after his death - more than half his life span - his
footprints are still evident in the streets and forests of rural
"To Andy this was home, and he always planned to return here," said Craig Wells, Andy's best friend.
"And I feel in my heart that he has come home."