In Cambridge, Massachusetts yesterday, MIT dedicated a new permanent memorial to Sean Collier, the campus police officer ambushed by the Boston Marathon bombers, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, on April 18, 2013. The completed structure, a months-long collaboration among MIT architecture professor Meejin Yoon, structural engineering professor John Oschendorf, students, and a crew that included Collier's brother, stands on the site of the murder and is laden with symbolism. From the choice of material—32 giant pieces of polished granite painstakingly excavated from a New Hampshire quarry—to its overall shape—an "open hand" that represents service and generosity, the memorial is the striking physical embodiment of "Collier Strong," the simple words that Boston has embraced in remembrance of the fallen officer.
Construction, which began last October and carried through Boston's winter of record-setting snowfall, proved an exacting but ultimately successful process. The five "fingers" of the structure, each ranging from 20,000 to 50,000 pounds, manage to stand up on their own, forming a central empty space intended to encourage visitors to pause and reflect. MIT News has the full story.