To the editor:

On Sept. 8, 2017, the lives of our family and of this community were changed forever when Wayzata Police Officer Bill Mathews, my brother in law, was killed in the line of duty. In the hours, days and weeks after his death, the anguish of life without him left an immeasurable void in our lives.

In that dark time we found something that was truly special, something that gave us hope and quelled our fears. That something was you, what an amazing community.

Image courtesy Wayzata Police Twitter.

We may have not been ready for the outpouring of love and compassion but we are very grateful to have received it. From individuals to businesses, your selflessness has touched us in both tangible and intangible ways. This community has wrapped its arms around our entire family, the family in blue, and Shawn and Wyatt. We are in awe of and grateful for the continued support.

One year ago, ribbons were tied everywhere, porch lights turned blue and signs were hung that read: “We will never forget.” You have truly not forgotten. Thank you for honoring Bill’s life so preciously and for honoring his impact on this community.

It is impossible for us to thank everyone individually. Please know we are deeply grateful and profoundly affected by your generosity and compassion. It was you that gave us hope in the face of despair, who showed us caring and compassion when we needed it, and who allowed us to continue to celebrate Bill’s life and legacy.

To our friends, family, City of Wayzata and Long Lake officials, the Wayzata Police Department, residents of Wayzata and Long Lake and the surrounding cities who have all have been instrumental in helping our family on this journey, we are extremely grateful.

Craig Budolfson, on behalf of the family of Officer Bill Mathews: Shawn and Wyatt Mathews, the Budolfson family, the Fabel family and the Pinter family