Last Monday, Fenway residents and Bostonians everywhere said their last goodbyes to their beloved Mayor of over 20 years, Thomas Menino. As his motorcade toured prominent areas of the city he adored, many waited outside of Fenway Park to catch the last glimpse of Menino.
Residents of Fenway lined the ball park to bid farewell to the man who made so much possible in their neighborhood, over the two decades he served as Boston’s Mayor.
Menino was best known for helping in the preservation and rebuilding of Fenway Park, and many RedSox players, owners, and fans have felt the loss.
“Mayor Menino taught us that cities are neighborhoods, and nowhere was that felt more strongly over these 13 years than in our own backyard at Fenway Park,” Red Sox chairman Tom Werner said to NESN.com. “For all of our desires to preserve and protect this ballpark, I don’t know that it could have happened without the impassioned leadership of Mayor Menino. We are grateful that he was with us to celebrate our championships and to throw out the ceremonial first pitch when Fenway celebrated its 100th anniversary. It’s hard to imagine a mayor who was more beloved. We are honored to have worked with him.”
Menino also had a hand in rebuilding the Fenway area by approving and supporting many of the projects we see in effect today. He wanted Fenway to be the place he knew twenty years ago, but also wanted it to thrive with modern innovations.
He was admired by everyone in the City, from other colleagues to children to the homeless that comprise Fenway. One homeless man shared his thoughts on the Mayor’s passing as I walked through Fenway, where the sadness was definitely felt. “He cared about people. And no matter where you come from, he wanted to help. He was a beautiful person,” Steve said.
There is no doubt that Menino changed Fenway. It was definitely felt this weekend, and will continue to be felt for generations to come.
“I’m just proud of what this old ballpark looks like today,” Menino said in an interview a few months before his death.
The ballpark, which he held so dear, will certainly feel the effects of his empty seat in the stands. Many RedSox players have expressed their gratitude and appreciation for the Mayor, as The Fenway begins to heal from his passing.
“His legacy lives on in every neighborhood he helped revitalize, every school he helped turn around, and every community he helped make a safer, better place to live,” President Obama said in a statement released last week.
Many in Fenway agree that he changed the City of Boston forever. The former Mayor, who impacted the lives of everyone in the City, passed away last Thursday after a long battle with cancer. He was 71.
He will be greatly missed.
Photos via Twitter.