Boston grieves over the loss of firefighter hero Ed Walsh

Boston firefighter Lieutenant Edward Walsh was laid to rest yesterday in Watertown, MA.

To the strains of “The Minstrel Boy” and Ronan Tynan singing “Danny Boy,” Boston firefighter Lieutenant Edward Walsh was laid to rest yesterday in Watertown, MA after services in St. Patrick’s Church attended by Cardinal Sean O’Malley.

He leaves behind a wife, Kristen, and three children.

The horrific inferno in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood on March 26 claimed the lives of two brave firefighters, Lt. Walsh and Firefighter Michael Kennedy.

The loss had an instant and profound effect on their families, friends, colleagues and the entire community of Greater Boston. Firefighter Kennedy will be buried Thursday in West Roxbury.

Speaking at Walsh’s funeral, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said, “We stand in awe of the sacrifice he made last week. He was a true hero,” Walsh said.

“He lived his life protecting and supporting his community. Lt. Walsh was a rock at the center of many lives. To his family, he was a hero every day.”

10,000 firefighters from all over America and from as far away as Australia paid tribute to their fallen comrade. Hotels in Boston gave discount prices and the public showed up in their tens of thousands to bid Walsh farewell.

“If the timekeeper of life kept track, he may have noticed that this man, in fact, has lived a full life. He lived more in 43 years than many of us will do in 80,” his sister, Kathy Malone, said in a tribute delivered at St. Patrick’s Church.

“He was a standup guy... He had a calling to help others,” she said.

“Let’s model ourselves after Eddie,” she said. Take care of people ... make time for one another and enjoy the company of family and friends."

Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley, delivering the closing words said, “This is a man who made a gift of himself to his God, his family, his community. His life was a great success, and we are grateful for it.”

At the Engine 33 firehouse on Boylston St. on Wednesday morning, four firefighters stood in the open doorway, on duty while their colleagues attended Lt. Walsh’s funeral. Many shook their hands, expressing sympathy for their loss and thanked them for their service.

The Firefighter’s Prayer was on both men’s funeral mass program.

It ends:

“And if, according to Your will

While on duty I must answer death’s call

Bless with your protecting hand

My family, one and all.”

Thank you for your service, Lt. Walsh.

Rest in Peace.

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