DELPHI — Libby German and Abigail Williams should have been graduating high school this spring.
It’s just one of the precious moments that was stolen from their families on February 13, 2017.
It’s also why the families of both girls have been working so hard over the past few years to bring the Abby & Libby Memorial Park to life.
“We don’t get to make memories with the girls anymore. So, this is going to be a place where families can make memories. They will always have something to remember, have fun and giggles and all of that,” Libby’s grandmother, Becky Patty, said.
The Park’s Purpose
The families of Libby and Abby say the park is destined to be a destination where kids will perform, play and pitch softballs.
Both Libby and Abby had plans to softball before they were murdered. Abby’s grandfather even took her shopping for a brand-new bat, glove and shoes the weekend before the tragedy.
Abby never got to use those items, but because of her, other little girls and boys will now have a beautiful new location to play ball.
Their families say the park rising in their memory is destined to be a destination where kids will perform, play and pitch softballs.
“The memories are going to get started here pretty soon,” Abby’s mother, Anna Williams, said. “We are going to start having more firsts here soon. It’s hard, but we know the girls are still with us in the spirit of the park and they will always be.”
Months of earthmoving, uncertainty, fundraising, planning, and goodwill have all led to where they are now, with the Abby & Libby Memorial Park ready to welcome people in just a matter of months.
“In my mind, I see kids playing ball and I hear that bat cracking and someone saying, ‘Foul Ball,’” Libby’s grandfather, Mike Patty, said. “Just watching the kids play, like Anna said, kids on the playground – just enjoying the whole park, kids giggling and laughing and doing their chants when in the dugouts – that will be priceless.”
It’s a space the family hopes encourage good health, family connections, and friendships like the one shared between Libby and Abby.
“They were light, and they were life and this park is gonna carry that on long after any of us,” Diane Erskin, Abby’s grandmother said.
Weather permitting, the families say their goal is to open the park officially by this coming spring.
Bricks of Love
A & K Custom Monument Service in Lebanon was handpicked to make the memorial bricks that will be installed at the park.
The Boone County company, owned by Aaron Ballard, is allowing people nationwide to create engraved love letters to honor Abby and Libby — and each one is created by hand.
“Each brick is a message, a message about how someone feels about the girls,” Ballard said.
Kelly Baskett has her hands all over the project as she works to create the perfect bricks for the park. A professional artist for more than two decades, she puts her heart into each brick she helps create.
“These pieces of artwork needed to reflect the girls and how much people loved them,” Baskett said.
It’s a painstaking process done with love.
After the sandblasting and the coating, the end result is blocks of love letters engraved with expressions exclaiming emotions and endearments for an everlasting endeavor.
“No matter what evolves out of this case, these girls are never forgotten, and these bricks will be there a long time and people will remember this a long time,” Ballard said.
“There is so much care,” Baskett said. “I want people to feel that – the joy and the eternal love. I want them to feel that by the images.”
So far 150 bricks have been ordered from people in nearly every state.
“To me, it means a lot that it’s going to keep a memory alive and reflect all the positivity, the nature, the music and the love,” Baskett said.”