Update, 12:45 p.m.: Fallen MIT Officer Sean Collier was remembered as a kind, brave and service-minded police officer who was “wise beyond his years’’ in MIT Police Chief John DiFava’s commemoration address Friday morning.
Over 1,600 others came to pay their respects at the remembrance ceremony, held at the intersection of Main and Vassar streets in Cambridge where Collier was fatally shot in his patrol car one year ago.
Senators Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren, as well as Cambridge Mayor David Maher and a number of Collier’s friends spoke at the service.
The event also served as a fundraiser for the Sean A. Collier Memorial Fund, which has already raised over $500,000 for tuition to both MIT and the Massachusetts Police Academy.
The Boston Globe reports:
"Sean was truly one of the brave ones," said DiFava. "He made the ultimate sacrifice...But we must also remember the way he lived, because Sean was an example to all of us." In the past 12 months, DiFava said, he has often asked himself why the brave die young, especially someone like Collier. "While the sadness will never completely stop, and the sense of loss will always remain, it is my hope that the tears will become less frequent, that we will be able to smile a little more, that we will be able to turn and face the sun and think about tomorrow with hope and optimism," DiFava said.
A group of Collier’s friends and family — nicknamed “Team Collier Strong’’ — will run this year’s race in Collier’s honor.
“Our jerseys have 179, which was his badge number. We had it put on the back of our jerseys so we know he’s running with us and he’s got our back,’’ team member Kris Brewer told WCVB-TV.
Original story: A ceremony will be held on the MIT campus Friday to honor fallen Officer Sean Collier on the anniversary of his death.
The MIT police officer was fatally shot while parked in his cruiser April 18, 2013, allegedly by Boston Marathon bombing suspects Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
Fox 25 News reports that plans and renderings for a permanent memorial to Collier will be unveiled following the commemoration.
More detail of MIT memorial to fallen officer Sean Collier. pic.twitter.com/opMOgATtyv— Brian Burnell (@BrianNECN) April 18, 2014
The event is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. and is expected to bring a number of speakers and police officers.
Several departments wrote tributes to Collier on Twitter this morning:
One year later, we remember @MITPolice officer Sean Collier.— Cambridge Police (@CambridgePolice) April 18, 2014
WPD remembers MIT Officer Sean Collier. We pray for his family and keep his memory strong......Collier Strong.— WakefieldPD (@WakefieldPD) April 18, 2014
One fraternity will also honor Collier in a more traditional collegiate fashion Saturday — stripping down to their underwear and running nearly a mile for a scholarship fund in his name.