MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It is a path walked by the brave. A selfless choice to embody a thin blue line between good and evil, no matter how great the cost.
“Those are the risks we take every day,” said Sgt. Dustin Edberg. “Ultimately, these two paid the ultimate sacrifice and just it’s terrible. It’s sad.”
Edberg said those words as he stood next to the permanent reminder of that sacrifice outside the Wayzata Police Department. A memorial site was unveiled this week in honor of Officer Bill Mathews and Sgt. J.W. Anderson, two Wayzata policemen who gave their lives in the line of duty. Each officer has a plaque with a three-dimensional image of their faces.
“If you’ve seen Bill, it looks just like him,” Edberg said.
The site features benches for people to sit and reflect, and well as an illuminated blue line extending across the center.
“It mean a lot to me. It’s an honor to have this. The community supported it. I’m honored our city staff got together and created this wonderful memorial,” he said.
Earlier this week, a dedication ceremony was held at the site with family members of both fallen officers in attendance. The plaques share the stories of how the men gave their lives.
Officer Mathews was killed in September of 2017. He cleaning debris on U.S. Highway 12 when a driver who was impaired and distracted hit him.
Sgt. Anderson was killed in August of 1982. He was responding to a domestic call when a gunman ambushed him.
Knowing how they died is important, but Sgt. Edberg feels they should also be remember beyond the badge.
“Know these officers. Know what they faced every single day. Know that [Mathews] was a father. Know that he was a police officer. Know that [Anderson] was a father and police officer as well,” Edberg said.
The somber spot, encircled in stone, honors those sworn to protect and serve — men and women who continue to choose a path no matter the danger that lies ahead.
“It’s not just for Bill and for Sgt. Anderson. It’s for all law enforcement community,” Edberg said.