ORLANDO (WHDH) - A touching tribute to a fallen Worcester firefighter was placed at the “Happiest Place on Earth” this week where Lt. Jason Menard and his family were supposed to be enjoying time together.
Worcester local Jaimie Kender set up a small memorial in honor of Menard during her vacation in Disney World.
“Even down in Disney, we’re thinking of the family,” she said.
Lt. Menard died in the line of duty last Wednesday — sacrificing his own life to save several of his fellow firefighters while battling a house fire.
A tragedy that Kender says has taken a toll on the Worcester community.
“This is not the first time this has happened in Worcester,” she said. “I think the community is hit hard every single time.”
In the middle of Magic Kingdom, the city’s flag and photos of the Worcester Fire Department are displayed proudly alongside Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse.
In a post on Kender’s Facebook page she wrote, “I didn’t know Lt. Menard, but I do know he was supposed to be here with his family right now— so we brought a little bit of Worcester to the Happiest Place on Earth today.”
“I was just touched by how many people seemed to resonate with the post,” she said. “There were comments from what looked like all over the world and fire departments all over the country.”
Lt. Menard was supposed to go on a trip to Disney with his wife and three children after getting off his shift that tragic night.
“It definitely tugged my heart-strings a little bit because I knew I was going to Disney right around the same time,” she said.
Kender said she hopes her tribute helps connect people during this difficult time.
“I hope it kind of makes them smile a little bit and be a little bit of a positive thing in a dark time.”
A memorial fund has been set up in Menard’s honor to help support his family.
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