Remembering Sean Collier - NECN

Remembering Sean Collier

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    NEWSLETTERS

    One day after Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was sentenced to death, a basketball tournament at MIT raised money for the Jimmy Fund in the slain police officer's honor. (Published Saturday, May 16, 2015)

    A memorial on MIT's campus is a large, permanent reminder of officer Sean Collier and his sacrifice. But it's just one of many ways he is being remembered.

    When Collier was 16, he heard a telethon on the radio for the Jimmy Fund. From then on, he donated a chunk of his paycheck to the cause.

    It's part of the MIT Police officer's legacy that his family is trying to continue.

    Shortly after Collier was killed by the Boston Marathon bombers, a fund was set up in his name to benefit the Jimmy Fund.

    At Melrose High School Saturday, teams of first responders took to the basketball court to raise money.

    "It's not something we're going to forget," said tournament director Rafael Olmedo. "The guys basically want to do something every year to be part of it, to give back and to honor Sean."

    "It's a good cause that really focuses on the positive," said Erin Cowden of Wilmington, Massachusetts. "It's really a good way to remember Sean."

    Collier's stepfather says his family tries to keep his memory alive as much as they can.

    "There will always be an emptiness," said Joe Rogers. "There's always somebody missing."

    Now that one of his killers has been sentenced to death, it's one less hurdle on their path to healing.

    "A lot of people talk about closure. There's no closure because you're not bringing him back," said Rogers. "But at least another door closed, we've passed another milestone. So we won't have to worry about the terrorist anymore."

    Sean's brother, Andrew, released a statement Friday saying that he is personally against the death penalty, but he said he was pleased that justice had been served, thanking everyone who worked on the trial and noting that it's a system his brother worked to protect.

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