People visit City Hall to pay respects to Mayor Menino

Mayor Menino was always consistent when asked about what motivated his hard work. It was the people of Boston.

That’s why so many visited Boston City Hall on Thursday with memories and prayers.

One visitor was Gino Colafella, a barber who cut Menino’s hair for his entire tenure as mayor.

“He goes just trim it up – not too short – I got to go to Washington, I have a special event coming up,” Colafella said. “I just have to come over here.  I had to come.”

With his granddaughter holding his hand he wrote his condolences in a book left for mourners.

A retired army sergeant also visited.

“I have met him when he did the parades through Allston, Brighton, shook his hand a couple of times and waved him on.” said Cmd. Sgt. Dennis Leary.

Menino was widely known for meeting more than half of Boston’s residents. Those interactions meant everything to the people he came in contact with and who are so clearly grieving him now.

“I said hi to him. I got a hug and I got a picture so that was pretty tense and I guess I have to treasure that moment now,” said Anthony Latorre of East Boston.

Some visited City Hall that didn’t get the chance to ever meet the mayor, like Ericka Bohnel.

“I live in Back Bay area and I was very close to the bombings when they happened and I’m just forever thankful. I’m thanking him now,” she said.

“I couldn’t believe it. God bless his soul. May he rest in peace,” said Barbara Burton.

City Hall was open until 11 p.m. Thursday. On Friday, there will be grievance books in all of the public libraries and community centers in Boston, as well as City Hall.

A wake will be held on Sunday morning at Faneuil Hall.