BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A young African-American man who was murdered by a white man at the University of Maryland College Park campus was honored on Monday.

A plaza was named in honor of Lt. Richard Collins III on the same campus where he was murdered.

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The family of Richard Collins III witnessed the dedication of the plaza along with hundreds who were in attendance, including elected officials.

Richard Collins III was a newly commissioned Army officer. He was just days from graduation at Bowie State University when his life was cut short. 

In May 2017, Richard Collins III was visiting friends at the College Park campus when a white student who was motivated by racial hatred singled him out at a bus stop and stabbed him to death, according to prosecutors.

That man was later convicted of first-degree murder.

“May you never know the pain of what it is like to bury a child,” Dawn Collins, the mother of Richard Collins III, said.

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Today, the parents of Richard Collins III travel the country teaching a message of anti-hate.

“Every time that you check a man for something that is wrong you add to your stock of moral courage,” said Richard Collins, the father of Richard Collins III. “Do not think you can dodge the little issues, the little everyday things of duty, and then when the great test comes, you will be alright. You won’t because you will have undermined the foundation. That is the courage that makes him do what’s right because he believes it to be right.”

Prosecutors say before Richard Collins III was attacked, the killer ordered him to “step left,” but the young Army officer said “no.”

For his mother, the Lt. Richard Collins III Plaza will serve as many things, including a symbol of defiance even when faced with a deadly threat.

“I will never accept second-class citizenship,” Dawn Collins said. “You hear what I am saying? Never step left.”

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Both Bowie State University and the University of College Park are working together to educate young people on shunning hate.

Ava-joye Burnett