BOSTON (WWLP) – For the second time this week, thousands of people: friends, family, firefighters and even complete strangers have gathered in eastern Massachusetts to bid a final farewell to a firefighter killed in the line of duty.
Michael Kennedy was described as someone who “lived for others.” He fought for our country as a marine, and worked to protect Boston as a firefighter.
It was a massive final farewell, fit for someone who gave his life to protect others. Thousands of people traveled into West Roxbury to honor Michael Kennedy as he took his final ride on Engine 33.
Ludlow Fire Chief Mark Babineau, told 22News, “It’s an honor. We all hurt when one of our brother or sister firefighter dies. It’s just a way to show support to the Boston fire department and the firefighters that were killed.”
Kennedy was one of two Boston firefighters who were killed in a massive fire in a Back Bay apartment building last week. The other firefighter, Lt. Edward Walsh, was saluted by thousands of firefighters and civilians during his funeral in Watertown on Wednesday.
Family, friends, firefighters and even those who have no connection packed the sidewalks around Holy Name Parish where the funeral was held to show their support.
Brian Ward of Brookline said “A lot of people wouldn’t do that, they run right into a fire and unfortunately that happened and I just want to say thanks.”
The 33 year-old Kennedy was with the Boston Fire Department for more than six years and was a veteran of the Marine Corps, having served in Iraq. He also served on the board of the Boston Firefighters Burn Foundation, which raises money and offers support for victims and families at three major burn units in the city.
Firefighters from western Massachusetts are among the many that came to West Roxbury to pay their respects. 22News spoke with some local firefighters prior to the procession, who said this week was a reminder of how dangerous the job can be. They said it is so important for the family who lost loved ones to see how much support they have, and that is why they came Thursday.
Captain Jeffrey Chaffee of the Monson Fire Department said, “We are a family and close-knit community, not just Boston but all of Western Mass and yesterday seeing other countries here, it’s just overwhelming.”