Thousands line the streets of Boston for Menino’s final ride

Before Mayor Menino was taken for one last ride around the city he loved his family was surprised with a visit from one of his close friends and political allies.

Former President Bill Clinton exited Faneuil Hall with Angela Menino and the rest of the family and shared a warm embrace as the honor guard carried Tom Menino’s casket out to the waiting hearse.

“I thought that was special. It’s about respect,” Maryanne Cronin, one of the thousands of people who had gathered to pay their final respects, said.

Boston Police flanked Menino the entire way, carrying his casket out of Faneuil Hall and escorting the motorcade around the city he loved.

The procession made its way past the Parkman House, the mayor’s official residence, which was draped in bunting.

Then past the mayor’s beloved Fenway Park where Red Sox employees stood with caps over their hearts as the Mayor passed by one last time.

“It meant a lot to him to save Fenway Park and it meant a lot to him when we could bring people together through baseball and civic celebrations,” Red Sox Executive Vice President Charles Steinberg said.

The procession continued though Dudley Square in Roxbury, which saw major improvements under Menino, and through Mattapan, where a once homeless man said he now has a roof over his head thanks to the mayor.

“I remember Mr. Menino used to come out into the streets in the cold and he picked me up. He always came out into the community,” Anthony Morris Gonzales said.

As the mayor rolled by, residents lined the streets in Roslindale, one of many neighborhoods that flourished under the Menino administration.

“I just enjoy what Mayor Menino did for the city. I enjoy the waterfront, which he rebuilt, the Rose Kennedy Parkway, he’s really done a lot for the city,” Wally Smith said.

Everyone who said goodbye Monday was also saying thank you to the mayor, for making the city a better place for everyone.