WILMINGTON (CBS) – Thursday marked a somber anniversary. Six years ago MIT police officer Sean Collier was murdered by the Boston Marathon bombers.
Now, a Wilmington High School student is bringing people together to create a memorial in Collier’s hometown. And for this 18 year old, the mission is personal.
“I come from a family of police officers,” says Joe Wilson. His father is a retired Cambridge Police superintendent and his uncle is a Cambridge patrol officer. And Joe wants to follow in their footsteps. “It’s really important to me that people remember their sacrifices,” he says.
That’s why, for his Wilmington High School senior project, Joe decided to honor Officer Sean Collier by designing and raising money to create a granite memorial to the hometown guy.
“Sean grew up in Wilmington. His family still lives in Wilmington,” he says. And Collier graduated from Wilmington High, just like Joe is about to. And even though Joe was only 12 when Collier was killed, he realized it could have been one of his family members in the line of fire. “It hit me really hard,” he remembers.
Joe also saw how the community responded. “This day, six years ago, is really when Boston came together, when Wilmington came together. A sense of unity like no other I’ve seen in my lifetime,” he says.
So he came up with an idea to create a memorial with a picture of Collier with a background of an American flag. It will also include a favorite saying of Collier’s: “Do the right thing, not the easy thing.” Joe has surpassed his fundraising goal. “It really showed me how good people are, and how good the world is,” he says.
Joe hopes to install the memorial at Wilmington High School this summer. Any extra money he raises will go towards a scholarship in Sean Collier’s name.
To donate go to Joe’s GoFundMe page.