LAWRENCE — A colorful city mural depicting "our fallen heroes" at Ground Zero got a little facelift Monday in preparation for the annual 9/11 ceremony Wednesday morning.
"It's going to look brand new again," said Fire Lt. Jimmy Flynn, who for years now has been the unofficial gatekeeper of the memorial next to the Ladder 4 firehouse at 71 So. Broadway.
Flynn, as he has in years past, met local artist Augustine "Smokey" Garcia of Smokey's signs to make sure the mural was up to par for Wednesday morning's commemorative 9/11 ceremony.
The public is invited to the 9 a.m. ceremony followed by refreshments at the firehouse, Flynn stressed.
"It's their mural not mine," Flynn stressed of Lawrence residents.
Flynn said Wednesday's ceremony will be his last 9/11 commemoration as an on-duty Lawrence firefighter.
After 35 years on the job, Flynn's scheduled to retire June 30, 2020.
"They got their money's worth out of me," Flynn said, followed by a hearty laugh.
In his place, Lt. Dave Amero will be taking over as the mural's guardsman.
"I'll always be involved. ... But I'm passing the torch to him. He's a great guy," said Flynn.
Flynn noted new, LED lighting was installed at the mural recently.
"It looks beautiful at night," he said.
The mural was initially erected in December 2001, just three months after the deadly terrorist attack in New York City.
Painted on a cement wall next to the firehouse, the mural measures 20-feet long by 8-feet high and memorializes the 343 firefighters who gave their lives at Ground Zero in New York City on Sept. 11, 2001.
The Worcester Six – six firefighters from that city who were killed in a cold storage warehouse inferno on Dec. 3, 1999 – are also remembered on the mural.
Killed were Worcester firefighters Paul Brotherton, Jeremiah Lucey, Joseph McGuirk, Timothy Jackson Sr., Thomas Spencer and James “Jay” Lyons.
During the 2014 restoration, a Boston Fire Department patch was added to the mural in memory of Lt. Edward Walsh and Michael Kennedy, who were both killed in a March 26, 2014, basement fire on Beacon Street in Boston.
The late Ron Gagnon, a well-respected general contractor, originally paid the $10,000 cost of painting the mural.
Gagnon, who died in 2005, is remembered on the mural as well.
Follow staff reporter Jill Harmacinski on Twitter @EagleTribJill.