Above, Aitkin County Deputy Sheriff Chuck Everson (left) escorts Kristi and Cassie Sandberg as two other Honor Guard members join during a National Police Memorial Day event Monday in St. Paul.
It was an honor to be on hand for the Law Enforcement Memorial Association’s annual National Police Memorial Day Monday at the Peace Officers Memorial across the mall from the Capitol.
This year’s program was particularly special since I had the privilege to accompany family of the late Aitkin County Deputy Sheriff Steve Sandberg. Fellow Rep. Dave Baker also has connections to the Sandberg family and was pleased to be there and show his support.
Steve was killed in the line of duty in 2015 at St. Cloud hospital guarding a prisoner. His widow, Kristi Sandberg, and their daughter, Cassie, were in attendance. So was current Aitkin County Deputy Sheriff Chuck Everson, who was kind enough to make the trip to St. Paul and escort Kristi and Cassie as they adorned the memorial with a wreath.
This recognition of our fallen officers started Sunday evening and featured the Standing of the Memorial Guard. Members of various branches of law enforcement took turns standing in 30 minutes of silent vigil for 24 hours to honor the state’s 278 fallen officers.
There were several hundred officers and citizens on hand for Monday evening’s program. A ceremonial signing took place as the governor enacted a bill which passed earlier this month to create a special license plate honoring our fallen officers.
At the same the event was taking place in St. Paul, a monument dedication was taking place outside the Aitkin County Courthouse. The Aitkin County Sheriff’s Office streamed the ceremony live on Facebook and you can click here to see that. Congratulations to all the folks who helped the monument become reality and made the event a success. And, of course, thank you to those who serve in law enforcement and make great sacrifices to keep us safe.