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



Sprint and T-Mobile offer further price discounts

Sprint unveiled a plan on Thursday that gives subscribers access to unlimited data for $60 a month, the industry's cheapest unlimited data offering.


Hundreds pay it forward at Florida Starbucks in…

The spontaneous chain of kindness continued for about 11 hours, totaling 457 transactions by the time it ended.


Weather system east of Caribbean could turn into…

An area of low pressure located east of the Caribbean Sea has a 50 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression or storm in the next 48 hours, U.S. forecasters…


U.S. hospital to discharge doctor treated with experimental…

An American doctor who contracted Ebola treating victims of the deadly virus in Liberia has recovered and will be discharged on Thursday by the Atlanta hospital that treated him with…


Review: 'When the Game Stands Tall' is both…

The high school football saga "When the Game Stands Tall" fumbles around for a focus while Jim Caviezel offers the most low-key coach in history.


Girlfriend in a coma: Chloe Grace Moretz

Chloe Grace Moretz is the best cheerleader "If I Stay" could ask for. As the star of the film adaptation of the successful YA novel…

The Word

The Word: Summer lovin' for Zac Efron and…

Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance between…

The Word

The Word: The Zac Efron-Michelle Rodriguez summer fling…

  Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance…


Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.


Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.


Jets vs. Giants: 3 Jets storylines to watch

Metro looks at three Jets storylines to watch as they play the Giants Friday.


Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.


Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…


Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…


Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…


Siren: A new dating app that puts women…

Online dating can be brutal, especially for single women. Noting that many women hate wading through inappropriate messages and photos, two tech entrepreneurs decided to…