Honoring the fallen is part of the process of healing. Less than one year from the Boston Marathon Bombing, the city mourns another tragic event. The loss of the lives of two Boston firefighters has again left us shaken. Within hours of the tragedy, the ashes cooled and the traffic returned to normal on nearby Storrow Drive, but the pain and shock of the loss was just beginning to settle in.
In the week since, there has been an outpouring of support from within Boston and across the nation, as thousands have gathered to honor the fallen heroes. A fourth-grade class as Boston Latin School wrote letters to the fire department, expressing awe and gratitude for their daily acts of bravery. Harvard University quietly cleared equipment from a lot under construction to provide parking for firefighters from out of town. Everyone is giving a small part of themselves. This is how we heal.
Wednesday, March 26:
– Fire breaks out at 298 Beacon Street at 2:30 p.m.
– Within moments of entering the building, Engine 33 calls mayday from the basement level.
– At 11:00 p.m., the names of the two firefighters killed in the fire are released.
Thursday, March 27:
– A memorial fund is set up for Lt. Ed Walsh and Michael Kennedy at the Boston Firefighters Credit Union. At that night’s Bruins game, the packed stadium pauses for a moment of silence to honor the two men.
Friday, March 28:
– A fire breaks out in the nearby city of Cambridge, Mass., and is quickly extinguished.
– At 5:30 p.m., the Massachusetts Turnpike and other major roadways around the city are shut down, allowing motorcades accompanying the remains of Walsh and Kennedy and to be transported. Hundreds of residents, firefighters, and policemen gather at bridges that cross the highway to pay homage as the motorcades pass by.
Sunday, March 30:
– Exactly 350 days since the Boston Marathon Bombing, the city mourns another tragic event.
Monday, April 1:
– Thousands of firefighters pour into Boston from around the country to attend the wakes and funerals of the two men. A wake for Lt. Walsh is held at St. Patrick’s Church in Watertown.
Tuesday, April 2:
– A bill that will increase the death benefit for families of emergency personnel unanimously passes in the Massachusetts House and moves on for Senate approval.
– Thousands attend a wake held for Michael Kennedy and the funeral services honoring Lt. Ed Walsh.
Wednesday, April 3:
– A funeral is held for Michael Kennedy at the Holy Name Church in the West Roxbury neighborhood of Boston.
– A search team finds Lt. Ed Walsh’s wedding ring in the ash and rubble and returns the ring to his widow.