Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Missing Ring

Lt Ed Walsh's family in Boston funeral
Thousands of firefighters from around the world were in Watertown, Massachusetts, this past Wednesday for the funeral of Lt. Ed Walsh, a Boston firefighter who was killed when he was trapped in a basement in a nine-alarm fire. Another firefighter named Michael Kennedy also died. Lt. Walsh was 43. He was married and had 3 children. His wife, Kristen, told those who served with her husband in the Boylston Street firehouse that she would like to have her husband's wedding ring. But it had come off while he tried to fight the fire.
St Patrick's church with thousands of firefighters saluting
District Chief Richard Magee, whose own father had worked in that same firehouse and died fighting a fire 42 years ago, assigned a team to search for that ring. They knelt in burnt, sodden ruins and sifted through wet ashes with their fingers. Just before 6 p.m., as Lt. Walsh's wake began at St. Patrick's Church, a firefighter named Patty Donovan cried, "I've got it!"
The Boston firefighters formed a convoy and rushed to St. Patrick's. They found Kristen Walsh in the front pew of the church, just a few feet from the casket that held her husband. And, as people said prayers for Ed Walsh, the firefighters who risked their lives alongside his gave Kristen Walsh the wedding ring she had once placed on his finger.

"She slipped it on her finger and she started crying," Patty Donovan says. "We all gave her big hugs and that was it." A truly touching story!

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