House introduces bill to honor first responders with holiday

The U.S. House of Representatives recently introduced a bill that would designate a federal holiday to be known as "National First Responders Day" to honor America's first responders.

Andrew Collier, the brother of a fallen officer from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Police, began the push for the holiday shortly after his brother passed away on April 18. Collier's brother Sean was killed last year during the manhunt for the Boston Marathon bombers, Officer.com reports.

Collier and his sister Jennifer Lemmerman began the campaign by starting a petition on the website Change.org. As of Friday, the petition obtained 31,794 supporters.

After the surge in support, Collier contacted Rep. Michael Capuano (D-Mass.) about drafting the legislation for the bill.

"Through my sister's contacts, I got in touch with someone at his office and they really ran with it," Collier said, according to Officer.com. "I think it's been more difficult for them than for me. They were in contact with me quite a bit to see where my vision was on the holiday. They really wanted to make sure I had full input into it."

On February 27, Capuano and Rep. Dan Maffei (D-N.Y.) introduced the bill. The bill was then referred to an oversight committee, which will review it and decide whether or not to put it on the floor of the House.

If approved in the House, it would be sent to the Senate for consideration. If approved in the Senate, the final stop would be the desk of the president.

"I'm obviously excited for it; I want it to happen fast," Collier said, according to Officer.com. "But unfortunately a lot of the time, things in government don't work that fast. I'm expecting it's going to be a little while. But overall, from everything I've heard, this bill has moved extremely fast -- pretty much unheard of fast -- for something like this. That makes me happy and hopefully it continues to add momentum."

On April 18, the anniversary of Sean Collier's death, Andrew Collier and his family will attend a groundbreaking ceremony at MIT where a memorial will be built on the site where he was killed, Officer.com reports.