Robin Williams made a bench in Boston Public Garden famous when he and Matt Damon shared a touching moment there in the 1997 movie Good Will Hunting, and now grieving fans of the late comedian have turned the bench into an impromptu memorial.
On Monday, word spread that Robin Williams had been found dead of an apparent suicide. As fans and celebrities from across the country shared their condolences and their memories of Williams, a number of fans went to the Good Will Hunting bench to leave flowers and write quotes on the ground in chalk.
The bench is where Robin Williams’ character sat with Will Hunting (Damon), sharing some meaningful life advice.
Shortly after word of Williams’ death spread, Bostonians started flocking to the Good Will Hunting bench. By Tuesday morning the sidewalk around the bench was filled with movie quotes and condolences written in chalk.
— BostonTweet (@BostonTweet) August 12, 2014
The Good Will Hunting bench garnered notice in local media and national media, with pictures spreading quickly on Twitter.
— Only In Boston (@OnlyInBOS) August 12, 2014
Many said they were drawn to the Good Will Hunting bench as a way to share some kind of connection to Robin Williams. Nick Rabchenuk, 29, went to the bench with his girlfriend, writing a couple of movie quotes on the pavement.
“After we found out that he died, we sat around in disbelief for a while,” he told HuffPost Entertainment. “We wanted to do something that people would be able to pick up on.”
Rabchenuk said there were already two other mourners there when he arrived.
“We sat around and talked for a little, just wanting to be part of this little moment,” he said. “We wrote a couple notes, the quote, and left the flowers.”
Some Bostonians now want to make the Good Will Hunting bench a permanent memorial to Robin Williams. An internet petition has been created to place a bronze statue at the bench.