Family, friends, firefighters gather for Michael Kennedy's funer - 7News Boston WHDH-TV

Family, friends, firefighters gather for Michael Kennedy's funeral service

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WEST ROXBURY, Mass. (WHDH) -

Firefighter Michael Kennedy will be laid to rest Thursday a week after he gave his life battling the fire in the Back Bay.

Family, friends, and hundreds of firefighters from around the country have come to give a final farewell to one of the heroes in the Boston firefighter tragedy. Kennedy will be posthumously be awarded the Medal of Valor.

Kennedy is remembered as the kind of man who was everybody's best friend.

“One of the kindest people you would ever meet. One of the strongest men I’ll ever know, and he had the ability to put a smile on your face,” James Crosby, a friend of Kennedy’s said.

Kennedy was committed to service volunteering with burn victims and volunteering as a big brother. He was also a trained chef making him more popular at the firehouse.

“Busiest firehouse in the city. Always working hard, and he was quite a guy,” Boston Fire Dept. Dist. Chief Keeley said.

Hundreds of firefighters poured into the funeral home Wednesday to pay their respects at Kennedy’s wake. Outside the Patriot's Guard Riders stood for hours to support a man who wasn't just a respected firefighter, but also a marine.

They shared hugs and smiled over funny stories as they paid tribute to the kind of man described as the role model, young children wish they could grow up and be.

“These guys, they know what they get into. They are willing to risk their lives every single day at work. I just knew that if Mike’s in that fire he wasn't leaving unless everybody else was out,” Sgt. Gregory Caron, U.S. Marine Corps said.

Kennedy’s funeral procession began Thursday morning, an hour before his funeral service at 11 a.m. at Holy Name Church in West Roxbury.

Engine 33, adorned with funeral flowers, lead Kennedy’s funeral procession. Walking in the procession one of his fellow firefighters will be carrying his helmet.

The funeral service begins at 11 a.m. at Holy Name Parish in West Roxbury. Watch 7News for live coverage.

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