At Collier’s memorial service yesterday, Biden told the officer’s family, “My heart goes out to you. I hope you find some solace in this time of extreme grief.” Biden called the brothers suspected in the bombings and Collier’s killing “two twisted, perverted, cowardly, knock-off jihadis.”
He said he is constantly asked the question of why terrorists do what they do against the U.S. “I’ve come to conclusion they do it to instill fear,” Biden said. “To have us, in the name of our safety and security, jettison what we value most in the world, our open society, our system of justice that guarantees freedom. ... Our transparency; that’s their target.
“It infuriates them that we refuse to bend, refuse to change, refuse to bend to fear,’’ he said.
Collier’s casket was positioned in front of the thousands who gathered on a bright, sunny spring day. Music of bagpipes echoed through the field and a large American flag, suspended high about the crowd between two fire department ladder trucks, flapped slowly in the breeze.
Boston native James Taylor sang “The Water is Wide” and led a sing-along during “Shower the People.”
State police said between 4,000 and 5,000 attended the service. The line of mourners stretched for about a half mile at MIT ahead of the service. They had to make their way through tight security, including metal detectors and bomb-sniffing dogs ahead of the service.