Boston firefighter Michael Kennedy ‘lived for others’

boston fire michael kennedy funeral
Boston firefighter Michael Kennedy’s casket is carried into Holy Name Church in West Roxbury.
Credit: Nicolaus Czarnecki/Metro

Firefighter Michael R. Kennedy’s casket was carried atop Engine 33 to Holy Name Church in West Roxbury Thursday morning where his funeral is taking place. 

The service drew thousands firefighters from across the United States to the neighborhood. They lined the street and saluted as Kennedy’s casket was driven toward the church. It followed behind Ladder 15, the truck he typically worked on.

In his homily, the Rev. John Unni cited descriptions that others had told him of Kennedy.

“He was always wanting to be there to help someone, do the right thing. He was someone who lived for others, always determined to put a smile on the faces of those around him,” Unni said.

Kennedy, 33, was killed along with Boston Fire Lt. Edward Walsh, 43, on March 26 while fighting a fire in a four-story apartment house in Boston’s historic Back Bay neighborhood.

Mayor Marty Walsh said Kennedy ran toward danger and embraced life.

“Michael Kennedy made the world a safer place, a more decent place and, as a his friends have said to us, a more fun place. He went above and beyond the call of duty,” Walsh said. “Our duty is to preserve his memory and share his spirit. We must teach young people his values – they are the values of a great American.”

Kennedy, a Marine veteran, is also being saluted with military honors. An American flag covered his casket as it was carried into the church and a group of Marines standing on a staircase saluted as it passed them.

Kennedy’s cousin, Davin Kennedy, was emotional and fought back tears as he recalled various stories about Kennedy.

“He was a larger-than-life character,” Davin Kennedy said. “He never saw a challenge he wouldn’t accept.”

International Association of Fire Fighters President Harold Schaitberger presented Kennedy’s father, Paul, with the Medal of Honor.

“He was clearly put on this Earth as a guardian, a guardian of others,” Schaitberger said of Kennedy.

In a moving moment, Kennedy’s proud father then held up the medal for everyone in the church to see. Those inside the church stood and cheered as Paul Kennedy then walked over to his son’s casket and placed the medal on top of it.

Walsh was laid to rest Wednesday following a funeral Mass at St. Patrick’s Church in Watertown. Those services drew firefighters from across the nation, with some from New York, Chicago and Miami joining the procession.

Today’s ceremony will conclude with the International Association of Firefighters Bell Ceremony, which officials said is meant to “reflect honor and respect on the brave souls that have served and selflessly given their lives for the good of their fellow man.”

Speakers will include Mayor Marty Walsh, Boston Fire Fighters Local 718 President Rich Paris and Davin Patrick Kennedy, Michael Kennedy’s cousin.

Follow Morgan Rousseau on Twitter for live updates: @MetroMorgan
Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBOS



Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.


Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…


OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…


MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.


Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."


'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.


'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."


TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.


Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.


Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.


Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”


Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.


Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.


Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…


NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.


The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.