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 was unveiled at a dedication ceremony Wednesday.
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.
Andy broke our hearts and changed us forever," said Brockville resident
Paulette Moffitt, Andy's mother, as her voice wavered while speaking at
"We only have one wish for Andy and it's that he never be forgotten. Our wish has come true."
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."
Moffitts moved to Brockville when Andy was 17 years old. He graduated
with honours from Thousand Islands Secondary School and went on to study
engineering at the University of Ottawa.
The fight to keep his memory alive has been tough, said Paulette Moffitt.
Pleas to change the Canadian justice system were just as brutal on the family.
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 Leeds-Grenville MP Gord Brown.
then-rookie Conservative MP 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.
"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 time served.
Andrew Moffitt Memorial Scholarship Fund was created by his family in
2001, an award given to outstanding engineering students at the
University of Ottawa.
Andy Moffitt was also posthumously awarded the medal for bravery in 2003 by then-governor general Adrienne Clarkson.
years after his death -more than half his life span -his footprints are
still evident in the streets and forests of rural Barrhaven.
"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."