Boston comes together, offers support to families of firemen

As Boston mourns the loss of Lieutenant Ed Walsh and Firefighter Michael Kennedy in Wednesday’s nine-alarm Back Bay fire, Boston Mayor Martin Walsh, the Boston Firefighter’s Credit Union and a variety of community groups have come together to support the victims’ families and honor the men whose lives were lost.

Mayor Walsh attended a ceremony at City Hall Plaza Friday to raise the flags of the Boston Fire Department and share a moment of silence with the community. The Credit Union is administering a fund, established by Firefighters Local 718, for the benefit of the families. Anyone can donate to the fund by visiting the Credit Union’s website atwww.bosfirecu.com.

“Although no donation can heal the wounds suffered by the Walsh and Kennedy families, we are grateful to the Boston Firefighter’s Credit Union for helping us create a focal point for peoples’ generosity, and to the people of Boston, of Massachusetts, and of the United States, who have once again shown the power of a community to help healing process begin,” Mayor Walsh said in a Thursday press release.

Bernie Winne, CEO of the Firefighter’s Credit Union, said the fund is one option for those who would like to honor Kennedy and Lieutenant Walsh through donation.

Lieutenant Walsh’s family requested, in Sunday’s obituary section, that anyone who wishes to donate should do so through the Credit Union fund. The Kennedy family designated three other charitable funds that the deceased firefighter had been involved with, Winne said.

Winne said the families have no involvement in the fund as of now, and the Credit Union has not been in touch with the families yet.

“At this point in time, the families are much more involved with their own situation and the grief that they’re undergoing,” he said.  “At some point in time, I will reach out as a representative of the credit union but this just isn’t the time to be thinking about financial matters.

Winne said he will offer the families of the deceased any available services that the Credit Union can offer to them, but for now, the fund will serve as a way for the community to show support to the families and honor Kennedy and Lieutenant Walsh

“Those families have a very difficult week ahead of them,” he said. “They’ve had a very difficult week behind them. They’re dealing with the struggle of watching a young vibrant person go off to work in the morning and not come home.”

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