BOSTON (CBS) — Family and friends of Kyzr Willis gathered at Franklin Park on Sunday in his honor. Kyzr was seven-years-old when he drowned at a South Boston day camp last summer.

“My son would have still been here, he would have been running around with a smile on his face,” said Melissa Willis, Kyzr’s mother.

kyzr Memorial Held One Year After Boy Drowns At Boston Camp

7-year-old Kyzr Willis (Curley Community Center)

Ralph Willis, the boy’s father, said the memorial was about support.

“Just having friends get together like this brings a smile to my face, and I know he’s up in heaven smiling as well,” said Willis.

When asked what he missed most about Kyzr, one of his brothers simply said, “everything.”

willisparents Memorial Held One Year After Boy Drowns At Boston Camp

Melissa and Ralph Willis at Sunday’s memorial (WBZ-TV)

Mayor Marty Walsh also attended the memorial.

“The family invited me today to come out in memory of Kyzr. It was a tough day a year ago for everyone. The fact that they are strong and that they are doing a family fun day, I commend them for that,” Walsh said.

According to Willis’ attorney, the District Attorney determined there would be no criminal charges connected with Kyzr’s death. The family is now looking into a civil lawsuit.

“I don’t want to see this happen to any other family,” said Willis. “I don’t want anybody to go through this crap, the stuff that we are going through: the pain, the suffering, the every day waking up thinking that he is going to be there when he’s not.”

willisdonations Memorial Held One Year After Boy Drowns At Boston Camp

Donations to put by Kzyr Willis’ headstone (WBZ-TV)

The mayor said since Kyzr’s death, Boston has implemented new safety measures at its camps.

The number of lifeguards increased, the structure of the camp was changed and procedure at drop-in camp centers was revamped, according to Walsh.

The Willis family said they would also like to see life vests on all of the campers and the use of the buddy system.


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