The Massachusetts Institute of Technology architects who designed the Officer Sean Collier Memorial specifically designed a hollow, open space in the middle as a space for remembrance and reflection. On Friday, after Dzokhar Tsarnaev was sentenced to death, community members stopped at the memorial to remember, honor, and reflect.
"I think we have started to move on and i think this gives us an opportunity to take that next step," said MIT Deputy Police Chief Jay Perrault.
At the site of the Officer Sean Collier Memorial people showed mixed emotions on the jury's decision.
"I think he should rot in prison and live his life there," said MIT student Michelle Cole.
Elizabeth Bruce who works at MIT feels the same way, "Whether it fits the crime or not, I don't believe in the death penalty."
But another student, Jordan Whisler, disagrees, saying, "I think justice was served, but it can't take away the sadness."
Officer Collier's brother, Andrew Collier, says he opposes the death penalty but feels justice was served Friday. In a statement Friday evening he thanked the jurors, writing, in part, "These men and woman deserve praise along with the judge, prosecutors, defense and court staff. They made our system work. The system Sean set out to protect and honor and that makes me proud."
MIT students say they've felt a void every day for the past two years since Officer Collier was shot and killed by the Tsarnaev brothers three days after the marathon bombings.
"Sean was a great member of our community," said Alex Toumar. "I met him and he was a really nice person."
Also in a statement Friday, MIT Police Chief John DiFava wrote, in part, "I hope the conclusion of the trial and the subsequent verdict can offer some kind of closure, no matter how small ... No verdict could erase the horrible tragedies that have occurred, and we respect the jury's decision."
Looking forward, MIT faculty, staff and students say they don't care anymore about how or when Tsarnaev will die, but rather they care most about honoring the heroic life that Officer Sean Collier lived.
"We just go on and try to keep his memory alive," Whisler said.
Collier's brother reminds people Friday is National Peace Officer's Day, he's asking everyone to thank a cop, or buy him or her dinner. He said that's what he did Friday, in Sean's honor.
At the end of his statement, Andrew wrote, "Sean, I love you and miss you every day."