Moffitt wasn't a star athlete, or a politician. He never had the chance
to become rich or famous. He is, however, worth remembering.
he was killed more than 11 years ago trying to break up a fight in an
Ottawa bar, he was a university student out celebrating the end of an
He rushed to help a friend being attacked by a
stranger, and after managing to pull the two of them apart, that
stranger pulled a knife and stabbed him.
Once was enough to end Andy's life. It was Dec. 23, 1998, and he was 23 years old.
On Wednesday morning, the City of Ottawa paid tribute to Andy's legacy by renaming a park in his memory.
Park in Barr-haven, more commonly known as Berrigan Woods, is now the
Andy Moffitt Trail. It's just a few blocks away from where Andy grew up.
by family, friends and media, Andy's mother Paulette Moffitt shook
slightly as she spoke to the crowd. Her husband Rod Moffitt stayed close
'Losing Andy broke our hearts and changed us
forever,' Paulette said. 'We only had one wish for Andy, and that was
that he never be forgotten. Today our wish has come true.'
through the city's commemorative naming policy, it took six months to
get from the idea to Wednesday's unveiling. The plaque will be mounted
on a large Barrhaven stone at the site off Berrigan Drive. The trail
hasn't yet been finished, but Andy's family was glad they didn't have to
wait until spring for the ceremony.
Andy's aunts, uncles,
cousins, grandparents and friends attended the Wednesday ceremony. Also
there were his two brothers, Rod Jr. and Michael.
The plaque calls Andy ' who was posthumously awarded a Medal of Bravery in 2003 ' a 'humble, honourable, and a brave soul.'
'There is no greater love than a man who lays his life down for a friend.'
Paulette called Andy 'everyone's hero,' and said the plaque will help his story carry on.
hope everyone who walks down Andy's trail will be inspired by him to be
the best that they can be,' Paulette said. 'The Andy Moffitt Trail is
the final page of Andy's story. It also brings us as close as it is
possible for closure. Andy's spirit is home now.'
Craig Wells was Andy's best friend, and he also spoke to the crowd of friends and supporters.
'He didn't follow in anybody else's footsteps, he made his own trail for others to follow,' Wells said.
Wells has two children of his own now, both sons. The eldest, at five years old, is named Andrew. Christian is two years old.
Wells said he'll be visiting Andy Moffitt Trail with the boys to teach his children 'the true meaning of the word hero.
'To me, that will be Andy's legacy,' he said.
After the ceremony, Andy's younger brother Michael said he was pleased.
been through a lot over the past 11 years,' said Michael, who is now
the same age as Andy was when he died. 'There's been a lot of good, and
there's been a lot of (bad).
'We're grateful to the city, we're grateful to everybody here supporting us.'