Lt. Ed Walsh, Michael Kennedy help community on and off-duty - 7News Boston WHDH-TV

Lt. Ed Walsh, Michael Kennedy help community on and off-duty

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Firefighting may have been their jobs, but Lt. Ed Walsh and Michael Kennedy did so much more off-duty.

The memorial at the station continues to grow. People come around the clock for the two men who chose to work at the busiest firehouse. They were much more than colleagues and more than firefighters to those that knew and loved them.

At Engine Company 33, lt. Ed Walsh was the backbone of the unit, and West Roxbury neighbors said he was the same, even off duty.

“There's no comparison. He's the type of guy that would not hesitate to help someone out, whether it was a neighbor or someone he did not know,” George Ging, one of Walsh’s neighbors, said.

Just last weekend, Lt. Walsh and Former City Councilor John Tobin, played hoops with their sons.

“It’s the last memory we all have of him. Just laughing, joking around and letting the kids score on him,” Tobin said.

Michael Kennedy is remembered for his big heart, and smile.

“He always had this big Kool-Aid smile,” Genie Morelus.

A decade ago, Kennedy started volunteering as a big brother to Genie’s son Alex, who is now 14-years-old.

Genie said Kennedy was always full of surprises.

“He got a mohawk and I was like, oh wow this is so cute, too funny, I gotta take a picture of this,” she said.

Even Alex got the mohawk to match his ‘big brother.’

Genie, a single mom, said it broke her heart to break the news to Alex.

“He was crying, he was devastated,” Genie said.

Alex vowed to his mom, who's 8 months pregnant, he'll always strive to be like Kennedy.

“Last night he made a promise to me, ‘mom I promise,’ because I’m expecting to have a boy, he's like 'mommy, I’ll be the best big brother Jeremiah will ever have',” Genie said.

An athlete, Michael Kennedy planned to run this year's Boston Marathon in honor of the survivors, making the turn by the firehouse. Last week he attended a charity event that reunited bombing survivors with first responders.

Both Kennedy and Lt. Walsh being at the firehouse played such critical roles that day last year.

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