MIT community honors Officer Sean Collier - 7News Boston WHDH-TV

MIT community honors Officer Sean Collier

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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (WHDH) - The MIT community came together Friday morning to honor Officer Sean Collier on the one-year anniversary of his death, allegedly at the hands of the Marathon bombing suspects.

The ceremony began at 9:30 a.m. and a tent was set up near the location where the 26-year-old officer was shot. Officials unveiled plans for permanent memorial to Collier, which will be located near the spot where Collier was killed.

"We tried to find something that would demonstrate his spirit and something that would show strength," said Ally Miller.

Family and friends said Collier always wanted to be a police officer. He was described as a man who lived without regrets, and as a man who showcased what MIT was all about.

“Officer Collier protected the peace of our campus and he increased our joy. He know that his uniform allowed him to talk to anyone and he talked to everyone,” MIT Vice President Israel Brewer said.

“This is tough day for us because we the police did lose an officer. The MIT community, a really special place, lost a member. A contributing member, an important member, and someone that will be real hard to replace,” MIT’s Police Chief said.

"It was an honor to work with him. He has left a forever void in our department but given us the strength to be what we can be," said Jay Perault, deputy chief of the MIT Police Department.

Collier was murdered while sitting in his cruiser on the MIT campus. His friend, Dic Donohue, a transit cop, was also shot that night. Police said Donohue was among the first at the scene after the Tsarnaev brothers allegedly ambushed Collier.

Donohue was critically injured and he said he believes Collier looked down on him giving him strength that night to survive.

Senators Elizabeth Warren and Edward Markey spoke at the ceremony and offered support to the MIT community.

After the ceremony, Collier's family attended a ceremony adding his name to a plaque at the Cambridge Police Department honoring officers who died in the line of duty. Collier is the first non-Cambridge officer to be honored.

Friday night a group of 200 people gathered at the existing memorial at 10:24 p.m. to hold a moment of silence at the time of his death exactly one year ago.

"We know him, we're very close to Sean, very close to a lot of other MIT officers, so this is an opportunity for us to remember him," said Cambridge Police Department Deputy Superintendent Jack Albert.

An MIT Strong rally featured the MIT marathon team, which will run for Sean Collier on Monday.

"I never ran a marathon before, so running a marathon for me is really keeping with his excitable spirit and I really am looking forward to Monday," said Sally Miller.

The mayor of Cambridge said Friday that the intersection of Vassar and Main Streets will be named Officer Collier Square.

Click here for more information on how you can donate to MIT Strong.

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