WATERTOWN (CBS) – The firefighting brotherhood was on full display on the streets of Watertown Wednesday, but joining them to witness the solemn procession were members of the public who never met Lt. Edward Walsh but felt compelled to be in attendance.
“Every time they put on a uniform and respond to a call that could happen,” said Aaron Kahn-Bork referring to last Wednesday’s deadly fire. He saluted as the casket went by saying it was his way to pay his respects.
The crowds gathered to honor the sacrifice made every day for them. “These are people who run into danger to save people they don’t know,” said Jodi DiProfio, who stood along Main Street. Lt. Walsh and firefighter Michael Kennedy did just that exactly one week ago, becoming trapped in a windswept blaze that ultimately claimed their lives.
Maureen Souza, the wife of a Cambridge firefighter, says it brings the risks of the job home. “He’s been on the job for 28 years and I’ve never thought of it as much as I have this past week,” she said.
Many said they were moved by both the tragedy and Lt. Walsh’s personal story. “He has children and a wife he left behind trying to save someone. How could you not be moved that,” said Shari Stear.
Their faces told of heavy hearts reminded of the potential danger these men and women face. “People don’t understand they put their lives on the everyday,” said Frank Byrne. “They could go out the door tomorrow and not come home.”
These firefighters take care of the communities they serve, but today’s funeral is an acknowledgment they also need to take care of themselves. “This is an amazing brotherhood and sisterhood. They give each other support at times like this, it’s amazing,” said Rose Kloehn.
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