Coon Rapids Community Honors Fallen Officer 8 Years after Death
He died in the line of duty eight years ago. But on Friday night, friends, family, and a football team honored a fallen officer on the anniversary of his death.
The frenzy of Friday night football took over at Coon Rapids High School. But beneath the blare of the band and the bellows from the bleachers, there were faint echoes of a horrific event eight years ago.
"It feels like yesterday, and yet it feels like a lifetime ago," said Jennifer Silvera Lindemer, the widow of Officer Shawn Silvera.
Silvera was placing stop sticks during a police chase on Interstate 35W near Forest Lake on Sept. 6, 2005, when the suspect swerved and hit him with his car.
"I remember that afternoon was just such a normal day, and when we got the knock on the door, I thought it was just the neighbors," Jennifer said.
Jennifer and Shawn were high school sweethearts, Coon Rapids class of 1991. They had been married for six years, had two young children together, and Shawn had one higher mission.
"He just wanted to help people. He said that's why he was getting into law enforcement -- he wanted to protect and serve," Jennifer said.
Shawn spent seven years with the Lino Lakes Police Department before he died.
"It was such a tremendous loss, and I think it will take me a lifetime to get used to," Jennifer said.
Eight years later, Jennifer returned to the place she learned to love Shawn to ensure his legacy lives on.
"It is such a tremendous honor," Jennifer said.
Friday night's football game was dedicated to Shawn Silvera's memory. His two children led the Coon Rapids football team onto the field, carrying the flag for their fallen father -- his son, Jordan, wearing his dad's #30 jersey. Then, Jennifer sang the national anthem.
"There are depths in our life, and that sometimes we can't understand those great joys until we've gone through some of those valleys," Jennifer said.
In other words, there are high notes and low notes -- but that is what makes a song.
"I think what tonight means is, Shawn had a purpose. He fulfilled his purpose, and that is a message for all of us to take -- live out your purpose. This is what you're here for," Jennifer said.
Shawn Silvera was also honored at halftime of the football game. Many of his family members were watching from the stands.