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Funeral Mass for fallen Boston firefighter

Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley incenses the casket of firefighter Paul Cahill. Cardinal O’Malley presided at the Sept. 6 funeral Mass for Cahill who, along with fellow firefighter Warren Payne, was killed fighting a restaurant fire Aug. 29. Pilot photo/ Gregory L. Tracy

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WEST ROXBURY -- It was a fitting farewell to a fallen hero.

The flag-draped casket of Paul Cahill was borne on Boston Engine 30 as it made its way toward Holy Name Church on Sep 6. The memorial procession began in Canton, where Cahill was raised. On the way to the church, the procession stopped in front of Cahill’s West Roxbury fire station and the Tai-Ho Restaurant where Cahill, together with fellow firefighter Warren Payne, lost his life in the line of duty on Aug. 29 in a four-alarm fire.

Thousands of firefighters from around the country lined the route. As Ladder 25, covered in memorial flowers, and Engine 30 passed, mourners saluted or placed their hands over their hearts. Among those who came to pay their respects were Massachusetts Sen. John F. Kerry, Gov. Deval Patrick, Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino and other dignitaries and elected officials.

As the engine came to a stop in front of the church, eight Boston firefighters carefully lifted the casket off the engine and made their way slowly up the steps and down the main aisle of Holy Name Church.

Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley, joined by Central Region Auxiliary Bishop Robert Hennessey, presided at the funeral Mass. The principal celebrant was Boston Fire Department chaplain Father Daniel Mahoney.

“May we pray for the peace, and the love, and the strength that binds us together in this difficult time,” prayed Father Mahoney.

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