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(NECN: Nicole Jacobs, Boston) - Firefighters marched Friday to the rhythm of a painful beat. The simple sound of their foot steps marked a painful week coming to a close, but the heartache lingers.
Boston Fire Lt. Ed Walsh and Firefighter Michael Kennedy were killed in the line of duty Wednesday battling a nine-alarm fire in Back Bay.
"It's tough to speak most times," said Boston Fire Chief Dennis Costin. "When you go ask each other, 'How you doing?' both men break down."
Dozens of firefighters and hundreds of spectators watched and listened as the city of Boston honored two fallen firefighters, their bravery and their sacrifice.
"We couldn't have had two better firefighters in this city than Eddie and Michael," said Professional Fire Fighters of Massachusetts President Ed Kelly.
Walsh and Kennedy rushed into the raging fire on Beacon Street while saving the lives of others.
"The profession that chose us, to be firefighters, is a tragic one," said Kelly.
But the raising of the flags signified the sacrifice.
"We're all mourning, and of course, it's a horrific situation," said Kelly. "Very tragic, and everyone's devastated, but in that, they're still very strong people."
A strength in which the job is anchored. It's their calling. And when duty calls, they just go - no fear, no words. They go.
And on this day, when emotions are high, a tearful embrace says what words cannot.
If you are interested in donating to the memorial fund supporting the families of Lt. Walsh and Firefighter Kennedy, you can do so here, or by mailing a check to the fund here:
Lieutenant Walsh - Firefighter Kennedy Memorial Fund
Boston Firefighters Credit Union
60 Hallet Street
Dorchester, MA 02124