MIT Collecting Paper Cranes to Honor Officer Sean Collier

As the one-year anniversary of his death approaches, the university is mourning the former employee.

An independent group from MIT is trying to rally the community at the school—and beyond—to make as many paper cranes as possible for a special memorial event planned to honor an officer killed by the alleged Boston bombing suspects last year.

As the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing approaches, a group called “Cranes for Collier” has put out an open request calling on volunteers to help them set up a memorial in remembrance of former MIT Police Officer Sean Collier, who was allegedly shot and killed by the bombing suspects while sitting in his cruiser, on April 18, just a few days after the blasts went off at the finish line on Boylston Street.

“We’re hoping to gather contributions from every corner of campus and beyond, in order to demonstrate the strength and support of the MIT community,” the group said in a statement on their Facebook page.

Event planners set up a website with more information about the initiative, which includes a link to instructions on how to fold a paper crane, and where to buy the proper paper for the project. There will be two drop off locations where people can place the cranes once they are constructed. Two black boxes designated for the project will be placed in the Ray and Maria Stata Center and the Student Center outside of La Verde’s at 84 Massachusetts Ave., in Cambridge. There is also a “crane folding” event hosted by organizers and the MIT Museum on April 5, so people can learn how to fold and contribute to the installation. People that want to take part in the project but can’t physically drop off the cranes can also mail them to the group. Information about where to mail them is on the “Cranes for Collier” Facebook page.

Besides the paper cranes and flowers, the group wants people to start snapping photos of themselves while building the tiny paper memorials in honor of Collier, so they can share them on social media. Already, some photos started rolling in and have been posted to the group’s Facebook page. One volunteer shared a picture this week after a group of friends sat down and folded more than 75 cranes for the special ceremony.

According to the “Cranes for Collier” organizers, the paper birds will be collected through April 16, at which time they will begin putting the memorial in place. There were no immediate details about where the display will be, or what it will look like. Boston reached out to “Cranes for Collier” for more information, but did not receive a reply.

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