One day after thousands waited in the snow and cold for one last glimpse of Mayor Tom Menino, many more returned to Faneuil Hall for his Hizzonner’s final send-off. As the media waited for the casket to be carried out, Bostonians scrambled for the limited number of “Thank You Mayor Menino” signs available and rapped with dozens of police getting the route ready.
READ: FROM THE MENINO VAULTS
City Hall seemingly emptied out, with hundreds coming out of all exits just minutes before the procession turned down Congress Street, where they were met by dozens of school children wielding their own placards. Some tried spreading out around the State Street side, though the wind gusts were fierce.
In the middle of the wind tunnel on State Street we ran into Julio, a longtime vendor who has almost lost his cart due to unfair regulations on numerous occassions. “A lot of people tried to kick me out of here over the years,” he said. “Mayor Menino saved me three times.”
By the State House, bureaucrats and legislators lined all the way down Beacon Street for their final farewell. No shortage of emotion here, with several state workers talking about the last time they saw or spoke with Menino.
As locals wept and said their parting words, out-of-towners appeared confused, if not amazed at the outpouring of pride. Tours stopped and watched along, getting to take a bit of real-time Boston history back home for a change.
In Kenmore Square and through the Boston University campus, flags flew at half-mast, though most everything else seemed normal. About 150 to 200 students, college staffers, and assorted watchers gathered around the area and up around Beacon Street, some holding homemade placards showing love from the university where Menino spent the past year teaching.
In Dudley Square, among other friends and supporters, students from the Timilty Middle School came to show love. Menino loved all children, but it’s safe to say he had a very special place in his heart for the Timilty, named for the patriarch of the political machine that mentored him. Hizzoner participated in the school’s Promising Pals pen pal program every year since its inception.
After much pomp and circumstance and greetings all throughout the city, the motorcade arrived at Most Precious Blood in Hyde Park, where Menino served as an altar boy as a child. Not surprisingly, his home neighborhood was brimming with mourners.
Cards and letters may be sent to Menino’s office at Boston University, 75 Bay State Road, Boston, MA 02215.