Family of MIT Officer Sean Collier seeking national holiday - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Family of MIT Officer Sean Collier seeking national first responders holiday

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The family of slain MIT police Officer Sean Collier is working to get a bill passed to create a national holiday for first responders.

"He was never going to be anything other than a police officer," said Collier's older sister, Jennifer Lemmerman.

Lemmerman remembers her little brother making siren noises, playing police officer from the time he was a toddler.

"He just really felt right and wrong so strongly from the time he was young, it was striking actually," she said.

He followed his dream to MIT working as a police officer.

Three days after the Boston Marathon bombing, he was killed in his cruiser.

Now Collier's family is vowing to honor him and first responders everywhere.

"Every single morning they leave their homes and they say goodbye to their families, and they put their lives on the line," Lemmerman said.

They've started a petition online and already have more than 23,000 signatures.

"We've heard from police departments, fire departments, EMS literally from around the country saying 'We think this is a great idea,'" Lemmerman said.

Police chiefs in Western Massachusetts are rallying behind Collier's family as well.

"What's she's doing is an awesome thing, to get recognition for those of us who put our lives on the line to protect the citizens of this country," said Chicopee police Chief Thomas Charette.

Lemmerman says the decision to start the petition comes from their youngest brother Andrew.

"Andrew really just wanted to do something after Sean died," Lemmerman said.

Next May she and her family will travel down to Washington, DC for the national police officers memorial where Collier's name will be etched into the monument, forever immortalized for doing what he loved.

"To see the impact that Sean had, it makes us so proud of him and he would have been proud of it too," Lemmerman said.

She says they are currently working with local legislators to get a bill before Congress.

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