It’s been nearly 25 years, but it’s a memory that still sticks in Salem Assistant Fire Chief Paul Parisi’s mind.
It’s the memory of when hundreds of firefighters turned out for the funeral of Lawrence firefighter William McGuire, who died in December 1989, when a burning building collapsed.
Parisi is among the dozens of Southern New Hampshire firefighters and fire officials heading to Massachusetts today to attend services for two Boston firefighters killed last week.
Approximately a dozen Salem firefighters will attend, fire Chief Kevin Breen said. Windham fire Chief Thomas McPherson said he will be going with eight to 10 members of his department.
Ten Londonderry firefighters are going and eight from Pelham. Other departments sending firefighters include Hampstead, Kingston and Danville.
“It’s one of those things that when someone else devotes their life to helping others, it’s important to show their families we are there for them,” Parisi said.
Lt. Edward Walsh, a 43-year-old father of three, and Michael Kennedy, 33, died March 26 while battling a nine-alarm blaze in an apartment building on Beacon Street. Thirteen other firefighters were injured.
Walsh’s funeral is today at St. Patrick’s Church in Watertown, following his wake there last night. A wake for Kennedy is today at P.E. Murray Funeral Home in West Roxbury. His funeral is tomorrow at Holy Name Church in West Roxbury.
Fire officials throughout Southern Hampshire said yesterday members of their departments would be at the services today and tomorrow.
When a firefighter dies, they are there to lend support, just as others in the profession have done for them — whether it was in the line of duty or not.
Flags have been flying at half staff outside local fire stations. A sign at the Salem Fire Department says, “Please Keep the Boston Fire Department in your prayers.”