Two funerals in two consecutive days have left the Boston firefighters, family members, and first responders in attendance emotionally “exhausted,” said Rev. John Unni, the pastor who delivered the homily at both funerals. But he urged the community to take care of themselves and each other and not to keep their emotions inside.
“Don’t be afraid to talk to each other, don’t be afraid to lean on each other,” he said. “Tap into that relationship with the Lord.”
Buses full of firefighters and first responders from across the nation made their way to Holy Name Parish in West Roxbury this morning to pay their final respects to Boston firefighter Michael Kennedy, who was killed battling a blaze that burned through a Back Bay brownstone last week.
Many of the same firefighters from across the nation that attended Wednesday’s funeral for Boston firefighter Lieutenant Ed Walsh, 43, who was killed alongside Kennedy, were in attendance today.
Kennedy, 33, who lived in Hyde Park, served in the Marine Corps and was an Iraq war veteran. He was one of the first responders in last year’s Boston Marathon bombings.
Kennedy was planning to run the Boston Marathon this year with his girlfriend Sarah Wessmann, whom he planned to propose to on May 11.
Wessman and Kennedy’s mother, Kathy Crosby-Bell, walked arm in arm into the church.
Kennedy also volunteered with the organization Big Brothers, Big Sisters as a big brother to 14-year-old Alex Beauzile.
Beauzile made the Presentation of Gifts at the funeral mass.
The International Association of Fire Fighters Medal Of Honor, the highest honor bestowed upon its members, was presented to Kennedy’s father William Kennedy.
Kennedy will be laid to rest with military honors at the Fireman’s Lot in the Forest Hills Cemetery in Jamaica Plain.