CEDAR CITY — Law enforcement officers gathered Saturday in Cedar City to remember a fallen comrade who died in the line of duty 20 years ago.
In a solemn half-hour ceremony at Cedar City Cemetery, approximately 25 people were in attendance as Iron County Sheriff’s Office paid tribute to Deputy Edward N. Dare, who was killed in a car crash in Cedar City on Sept. 24, 2002 at the age of 57.
According to published reports, Dare had been responding to a call on the radio that morning when his patrol car left the roadway and crashed into an irrigation canal west of the airport. He died at the scene.
Saturday morning, on the anniversary of Dare’s death, Iron County Sheriff’s Lt. David Mitchell welcomed those in attendance by saying, “I want to thank each of you for being here today to show support for the Sheriff’s Office as we pay tribute to remember one of our fallen brothers, Deputy Ed Dare, call sign 1W16, who lost his life in the line of duty 20 years ago today.”
After the opening prayer and flag ceremony, Iron County Sheriff’s Lt. Jeff Humphries read aloud a poem that Dare himself had written, entitled, “Thoughts for Every Day of my Life.”
“Don’t overreact to misfortune. It has always been with us,” Humphries said as he read from the poem. “And while it may reappear often, it too shall pass. It is the fire by which God tempers our strength. If life shows us anything, it shows us yesterday quite clearly.
“So why not use the lessons of the rights and the wrongs as a chart for tomorrow, when life’s uncertainties are looked upon as adventure, and we do not let things that go wrong deter us. More things go right. And you are then more in charge of your own destiny.”
“Also, live today as though it is your last … perhaps it is,” Humphries added. “Rather than live in fear of tomorrow, live in love today.”
Retired Iron County Sheriff’s Lt. Del Schlosser, who now works for Mesquite Police Department, also spoke, recalling how Dare had begun his training at the police academy at the age of 52.
“In 1996, I met a man, an old man, a crazy old man, a funny man and somebody who played a lot of jokes,” Schlosser said. “I met him when I entered the academy down in St. George. And I couldn’t understand why this old man would want to be around a bunch of 20-somethings.”
“As I got to know Ed, it became very clear as to why that was the case,” he added.
Schlosser went on to say that his close friendship and association with the “larger than life” Dare had a lasting positive impact on his own life.
“People come and go,” he said. “Officers get hired and 20 years later, they retire. Unfortunately, in the state of Utah, we’ve lost several (officers) over the course of my career. I’ve watched agencies, for lack of a better way to put it, forget those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.”
The anniversary of Dare’s death was not a day to mourn but a day to remember him, Schlosser said.
“It has always been something for me to remember on this day, because he changed this 20-year-old into someone that became better, at least I hope so,” he added.
Schlosser said Dare, who was a military veteran who’d served in the U.S. Navy, was someone who stood up for what he believed in, regardless of what other people thought.
“He just did what he thought was the right thing and he stood up to whatever that was,” Schlosser said.
Among those present at the ceremony were Dare’s widow Cyndi Dare and her friend Tammy, both of whom had traveled from out of state to attend.
A bronze plaque honoring Dare will be installed on the brick wall at the cemetery’s fallen officer memorial site, Mitchell noted.
At the conclusion of the program, “Taps” was played and SUU Aviation helicopters conducted a flyover of the cemetery.
For more information, visit Dare’s page on the Officer Down Memorial Page website.
Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2022, all rights reserved.