CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (WWLP) - A massive memorial service was held Wednesday for Massachusetts Institute of Technology Police Officer Sean Collier , who police say was shot and killed by the two suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing .
At Briggs Field on the Cambridge campus, thousands of students, faculty, family members, and fellow law enforcement officials gathered to pay their respects. Vice President Joe Biden, as well as Senator Elizabeth Warren joined Officer Collier's brother and religious leaders, who spoke before the crowds. Singer/songwriter James Taylor sang "The Water is Wide" and his hit "Shower the People" in between remarks.
The motto of the day was Collier Strong; a variation on the Boston Strong slogan that circulated across social media in the days following the Marathon attacks.
Photos: Memorial service for Ofc. Sean Collier
Members of the MIT community, like Andrea Barry, told 22News that Officer Collier had an impact on many people at the prestigious university.
"A lot of the students had personal relationships with him and everybody was just stunned because you don't think because of the culture, everybody here, you don't think that anything like that is going to touch the campus and we find out now that we're not immune," Barry said.
On the sunny early spring day, it was a difficult time for everyone. The Collier family lost a loved one, and law enforcement lost a brother.
West Springfield Capt. Daniel Spaulding was one of many western Massachusetts officers that came to Cambridge show their support.
"The death of any law enforcement officer hits close to home, and I think law enforcement officers from across America, across the world all came to show their respect. It's the least we could do to help support the family and brothers and sisters in law enforcement," Spaulding said.
South Hadley Patrolman Michael Pollander said that he was pleased with the way the service went.
"It was well done, it was very respectful of the family, and it conveyed a message that we stand as one in law enforcement," Pollander said.
Security on campus was tight Wednesday, with metal detectors and bomb-sniffing dogs on campus, just a little more than a week after the deadly attacks at Copley Square, and less than a week since Collier's shooting. Civilians wanting to pay their respects waited in long lines to get into the ceremony.