Fallen Officers Remembered in St. Paul

Posted at: 10/20/2013 10:07 AM

(KSTP) - With nearly 10,000 law enforcement officers in Minnesota, one of them is likely your family member, friend or neighbor.

The people who put on uniforms, badges and serve our communities 24/7, year in and year out.  Thousands are on the streets right now. It's dangerous work. It's unpredictable work.

It's being honored at the Peace Officers Memorial at the State Capitol in a special ceremony.
It's called Project Blue Light and it means everything to the people at the event.

Bonnie Silvera lost her son, Shawn Silvera, a Lino Lake Police Officer, "we are all survivors the name binds us together in a unique way it makes us all part of a family."

The tributes that recognize 225 Minnesotans who've died in the line of duty are poignant, "the immediate days after my father's death were a blur and still are 20 years later," says Brian Jeska, who lost his father Lou Jeska, an Eagan Police Officer in 1993.

The tributes are also powerful, "my husband did not have to die, his story should set an example," shared Brittney Schneider. She described how her husband's sacrifice also became hers. Shawn Schneider, a husband, father and 9 year veteran of the Lake City Police Department never had a chance to answer, or avoid, the bullets that killed him, "my husband was ambushed when he responded to a domestic violence call."

Family members, fellow police officers and everyday citizens felt compelled to pay their respects and reflect on the dangers of police work, "while it might deter some, it made me want to do this job more," says Jeska, now a Plymouth Police Officer.

At night, the thin blue line burns bright at the Capitol. It symbolizes the line separating the state's finest from the state's worst. Even as words say so much about fallen officers at this ceremony, sometimes the most powerful statement is nothing at all.