WESTMINSTER, Colo. (CBS4) – Since October, a park in Westminster has been a place for greiving and healing for those affected by the Jessica Ridgeway murder.
The park at 10765 Moore Street is currently named Chelsea Park, but on Monday city officials were expected to officially rename it Jessica Ridgeway Memorial Park.
Ridgeway, 10, was supposed to meet her friends at the park and then walk to school the morning of Oct. 5. Instead, she was abducted and killed. Her disappearance prompted massive searches and an extensive police investigation, which concluded with the arrest of a teen who lived near Ridgeway.
On Sunday, the second night of Hanukkah, Ridgeway’s mother took part in a special ceremony dedicated to her daughter’s memory at Westminster’s Orchard Town Center. She lit the center candle on a menorah during a lighting ceremony.
Rabbi Benji Brackman said Sarah Ridgeway and her daughter may have never celebrated the Jewish holiday, but he said this is a time for people of all faiths to come together in her memory.
“We felt Hanukkah would be an appropriate time to remember that loss by spreading light,” Brackman told CBS4. “Her loss was our loss, we all have children, whether they are our children or our friends’ children, we were all touched by the tragic loss.”
Brackman said he hopes people will celebrate Ridgeway’s life through kindness.
“My mesage is tonight, if you’re Jewish light the menorah, if you’re not Jewish take on a good deed in memory of Jessica and share with your family and say you’re doing this in memeory of her. That will elevate her soul and perpetuate her legacy.”
Sarah Ridgeway did not speak publically at the ceremony.
A spokesperson for the city of Westminster says various events and improvement projects for the park will happen in the coming year.