Thousands of people braved rain, snow and wind to pay their final respects to former Boston Mayor Tom Menino, who died Thursday at the age of 71.
The hearse carrying Mayor Menino’s body arrived at Faneuil Hall and then the Menino family, led by his widow, Angela, followed inside.
Angela and her family spent hours accepting condolences.
The mourners included Secretary of State John Kerry, Gov. Deval Patrick, and Menino’s successor, Mayor Marty Walsh.
“There’s a unanimity about the difference this one person made to the lives of a lot of people, but especially just to Boston and he was an amazing example,” Kerry said.
After addressing them in City Hall, Mayor Walsh led a long procession of dignitaries to Faneuil Hall. They included the congressional delegation, mayors from across the state and other past and present elected officials.
“I want us as elected officials to remember that. This is a sad moment for the city of Boston, but it’s also a celebration of life for all that he’s accomplished,” Walsh said.
“The lesson that he left for me and so many others was public service and elected office, it’s about people. And no one personified that better. Nobody showed that dedication to people better than he did,” said Rep. Joseph Kennedy.
The majority of those standing in line Sunday were the ordinary Bostonians whose lives Menino touched during his more than 20 years in office, from former City Hall staffers to one man who recalled Menino presenting his young son a mathematics award.
Menino was the longest-serving mayor in Boston history.
“He’s the people’s mayor. He has done so much for the city of Boston,” said mourner Denise Barnes.
“He didn’t care what race you were or what religion you were or what sexual preference you were. I think this city is a much better place for what he’s done in the last 20 years,” said Pat Bavis.
“He gave us a lot of things that we couldn’t have had without him. He made our city great, and I just want to pay my respects and say thank you for all he’s done,” said Nora Yandle.
He was diagnosed with cancer in February, shortly after leaving office. He announced Oct. 23 he was suspending treatment and a book tour to spend more time with family and friends.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.