The Irish Emigrant newspaper, in partnership with IrishCentral.com and Irish America magazine, will be holding its third annual Irish Heroes of New England awards in Boston on Wednesday, December 3.
Lt. Edward Walsh is being honored posthumously with an Irish Heroes of New England award in recognition of his heroism and ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty as a firefighter for the city of Boston.
Walsh, was one of two Boston firefighters who died in a nine-alarm fire that tore through a Back Bay brownstone in the city last March .
Speaking with The Irish Emigrant, his widow Kristen Walsh said "Ed grew up in a fire fighting family, so it really was in his blood. His father, along with several uncles and cousins, were all fire fighters."
Originally from Watertown, Edward Walsh was determined to follow in the footsteps of his father and become a part of the biggest and best fire department in the city of Boston. His dreams came true when he was appointed to the Back Bay firehouse, Ladder 15.
Kristen recalls "After graduating, he had a successful business career, but being a firefighter was his calling and it's what he wanted to do. It's what made him happy and very few people can say they love what they do in life."
Walsh, was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant in 2012. As is customary with promotion, he was assigned to work a series of firehouses in the city before returning to take a post with Engine 33 where he was on duty the evening the fire broke out.
Walsh, 43, was the father of three young children: Dillon, 9, Morgan, 5, and Griffin, 3 and whilst they have lost their dad in such tragic circumstances, Kristen says "Our children will grow up knowing that their dad was a hero who saved people's lives that day, but he was also a person who touched the lives of many through the charity work he did throughout his life but also simply from being a kind and friendly person."
Known as Ed to his family and friends, the firefighter came from a large Irish-American family and Kristen says " He was extremely proud of his Irish heritage. He enjoyed listening to Irish music and sharing a pint with friends. Whenever we went out for the evening, we always searched for an Irish pub that had great live music."
Speaking about accepting the award on behalf of her husband, Kristen says that it is a "great honor" but admits that Ed would have been a little more reluctant "He was a very humble person so the heroes portion of the award he would argue with, but I think he'd lost that argument."
The awards will be presented at a reception and awards ceremony to be held in downtown Boston. Diaego/Guinness and its “Made of More” campaign will be a main supporter of the event.If you would like to find out more about the event please email [email protected] or call 617-268-8322.