Leaders react to passing of Mayor Menino

In this April 21, 2014 file photo, from left, Boston Mayor Martin Walsh, former Mayor Thomas Menino, and four-time Boston Marathon champion Bill Rodgers walk past the finish line before the start of the 118th Boston Marathon in Boston. In a statement released Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014, Menino, 71, said he was suspending his cancer treatment and a recently-launched book tour to spend more time with family and friends as he fights cancer. Menino was diagnosed with cancer a month after leaving office in 2013. At the time, he said the cancer had metastasized and spread to his liver and lymph nodes. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)

BOSTON (WPRI) — Longtime Boston Mayor Thomas Menino passed away Thursday at the age of 71, and his friends and fellow politicians had a lot of kind words to say in memory of the beloved statesman.

President Barack Obama:

Michelle and I were saddened to hear of the passing of Tom Menino. Bold, big-hearted, and Boston strong, Tom was the embodiment of the city he loved and led for more than two decades. As Boston’s longest-serving mayor, Tom helped make his hometown the vibrant, welcoming, world-class place it is today. His legacy lives on in every neighborhood he helped revitalize, every school he helped turn around, and every community he helped make a safer, better place to live. I had a chance to speak with Tom’s wife, Angela, yesterday, and today our thoughts and prayers are with her, with the entire Menino family, and with the people of Boston who Tom loved so much, and who loved him in return.

Vice President Joe Biden:

Jill and I were saddened to hear of the passing of our good friend, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino. Tommy was our friend for a long, long time, and he was without a doubt one of the finest Mayors this nation has ever seen. His heart was always as big as the city he loved. And he was, to his core, the very definition of Boston Strong. Unyielding. Absolutely committed. The poet R. G. Ingersoll could have been describing Tommy when he wrote: “When the will defies fear; When duty throws the gauntlet down to fate; When honor scorns compromise with death – – this is heroism!” In the days following the Boston Marathon bombing Tommy was heroic. He was calm in the face of uncertainty, and resolute as the whole world watched. Even as he should have been in bed, Tommy stood tall, marching through the streets of Boston with a Louisville Slugger for a walking stick. He was determined to protect the people of his city, whether from high profile tragedies like the bombing or the everyday tragedies of gun violence as a leading member of Mayors Against Illegal Guns. It was an honor to work with Tommy on the investments that improved Boston’s neighborhoods, schools, housing and infrastructure. The “Menino Way” is evident in every park, every school, and every corner of Boston that emerged safer, cleaner, and stronger than before. His legacy will live on in the city he loved, and in the example he set for public servants everywhere. Boston’s first Italian-American Mayor earned what my mother always said was the highest compliment we Irish can give: He was a good man.

Mass. Governor Deval Patrick:

Boston has lost a political giant, and Diane and I have lost a friend. Our hearts and prayers go out to Angela and the whole Menino family. And we thank God for the service and the life of Tom Menino.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh:

Today the City of Boston mourns together. To any who had come to know him, it is no surprise that more than half of Boston had a direct interaction with Tom Menino. No man possessed a greater love for our City, and his dedicated life in service to Boston and her people and changed the face of the City.

With sheer determination and unmatched work ethic, he took a city that is not as big in size as we are in stature and put us on the world stage as a national leader in health care, education, innovation and the nitty gritty of executing basic city services.

He was a leader on policy issues that shaped the Boston we know today: from the environment, to youth engagement, to innovation, to crime prevention. But more than anything, he was a man of the neighborhoods. He held a profound understanding of the direct and immediate impact that municipal government can have on people, and made it a great priority to ensure that government served people, and not the other way around.

Even in the latest stages of his illness, his concern – first and foremost – was always for Boston. We are forever grateful for Mayor Menino’s guidance, advice, and continued dedication to Boston. And though he has passed, his legacy and spirit will be felt across the City for generations to come.

Because of his leadership, Boston is a better place today.

From a grateful City: Our prayers are with Angela, Susan and Tommy, their families and friends, and all who loved Tom Menino.

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren:

The City of Boston lost a great fighter today. Mayor Tom Menino used his big heart, his strong voice, and his fierce determination to shape every corner of the city. Bruce and I send our prayers to Mayor Menino’s wife Angela, to his family, and to all Bostonians. Our mayor is gone, but he lives on in every neighborhood in Boston.

Congressman Bill Keating:

In the four decades that I have known Tommy Menino as a friend and colleague, I have never seen another person in public life that had his ability to relate person-to-person with anyone and everyone he met. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Angela, his family, and the entire City of Boston. We lost a true champion for the Commonwealth.

Congressman Joe Kennedy:

Mayor Tom Menino was the ultimate reflection of Boston itself. Tough, but kind. Innovative, but old school. Scrappy, but thoughtful. After over two decades leading this great American city he wore her strength, success and sorrow as his own. That legacy will light our communities for generations to come. My thoughts are with Angela, the Menino family, the hundreds that worked and served with him and every Bostonian who lost a leader and friend today.

U.S. Sen. Edward Markey:

In every neighborhood across this city, Boston will mourn today after losing this great mayor, but we will fill that void with the love and respect we have for the life and the legacy of Tom Menino. Boston loves Tom Menino because Tom Menino loved Boston with all of his heart.

Tom Menino wasn’t satisfied with leading the best city in America, he wanted Boston to be the best city in the world. Tom Menino was an urban mechanic without equal, attuned to every detail in every neighborhood and forged a more inclusive Boston. Yet his vision for Boston was global, and he pushed the city into a new era of innovation. He helped this shining city on a hill illuminate its light across the world, building a beacon of innovation and entrepreneurship. He laid the foundation for Boston’s economic leadership in the 21st century, including spearheading the Boston Innovation District and developing the Seaport area.

The Innovation District is supporting the companies and industries that are creating jobs today. And he has ensured that Boston will continue to be a national leader in biotechnology, clean energy, and health care for generations to come.

Boston will move into the future a stronger, brighter, safer, and healthier city because of Tom Menino.

My thoughts go out to Angela, the entire Menino family, and everyone ever touched by the great Tom Menino, a mayor and a man for the ages.

Attorney General Martha Coakley:

Today, Boston has lost the greatest mayor in its history. He was a friend and mentor, and a shining example to me and countless others of what it means to love and serve your community.

What made Tom Menino so remarkable was his connection to the people he represented – he understood their lives, their hopes, and their dreams. And he fought for them every day. He never forgot where he came from and stayed true to who he was to the very end.

We will miss him dearly, and we are all better for having known him and Boston is better for his leadership. My prayers go to his family – including his loving children Tom and Susan, his wonderful grandchildren, and to the love of his life, Angela. My condolences also go to his large extended family, his many friends, and his former staff.

Candidate for Lt. Gov. Steve Kerrigan:

Mayor Tom Menino was my friend. And I will miss his advice, support, wisdom and humor. But Mayor Menino was obviously so much more than that for our capital city, our Commonwealth and the nation. He was the kind of leader and public servant that we should all aspire to emulate. Without exaggeration, he was quite simply the greatest mayor in America, and his passion for his city and its people was unmatched.

For 20 years as Mayor, Tom Menino dedicated his life to reviving, revitalizing, and re-imagining the City of Boston—and every day, he put its people first. From improving public schools to building our innovation economy, he left his mark on each and every neighborhood. Boston is the place it is today because of his bold and unprecedented vision, and the city remains a living, breathing monument to him.

It was my honor and my pleasure to work alongside the Mayor for over a decade on numerous projects, including supporting Massachusetts military families and planning Boston’s successful 2004 Democratic National Convention. I learned so much from him, personally and professionally, and his belief in our causes never stopped impressing me—nor inspiring everyone in his orbit.

My sincerest condolences go out to Angela, Tom, Susan, and the extended Menino family. Across the Commonwealth, all of our thoughts and prayers are with you today. Tom Menino is Boston, and he always will be. Thank you for sharing him with us.

Boston Athletic Association:

The B.A.A. expresses our profound sadness at Mayor Menino’s passing, together with our deep gratitude for the magnificent support to the Marathon, the B.A.A. and the hundreds of thousands of athletes who have run in Boston under his watchful eye. He was always one of the first spectators to arrive at the Marathon and the last to leave, including in 2014. He touched the event and the athletes in every way, every year. The race is diminished without him.

Mayor Menino’s support for the Boston Marathon and the B.A.A. never wavered. His leadership after the bombings which occurred on Marathon Day in 2013 resulted in the City becoming synonymous with resiliency and strength. “Boston Strong” was his hallmark, and his compassion for the family of the victims and the survivors directly led to the quick formation of The One Fund Boston. Our thoughts are with his family during this difficult time.


Providence Mayor Angel Taveras:

I was saddened this morning to learn of the passing of Mayor Tom Menino. Today we have lost an irreplaceable leader and honorable public servant who loved Boston and our great country. Boston is the wonderful city it is today because of the extraordinary leadership of Mayor Menino. His focus on improving the lives of others set an example for all of us to follow.
I will always be grateful for the generosity he showed with his time and advice. I am especially thankful for our last visit earlier this month. As always, he was very giving of his time and full of optimism for the future. His legacy in Boston will not soon be forgotten. Nor will we forget him in Providence, where I am ordering flags be lowered to half-staff in his honor. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife Angela and his entire family.

New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell:

I was saddened today to learn of the passing of Mayor Menino, one of America’s great municipal leaders who transformed Boston into a world-class city. At a more personal level, I am grateful for his friendship and the guidance he offered me from time to time about the constructive role a mayor can play in improving the lives of his fellow residents. And I will forever remember his most recent visit to New Bedford when he purchased two Joseph Abboud suits at The Bay during our downtown tour. On behalf of the City of New Bedford, I extend our deepest sympathy to Angela and the entire Menino family, his many friends and colleagues, and the City of Boston.

Candidate for Mass. general treasurer Deb Goldberg:

Today our whole family has lost a dear close friend and the people of Boston have lost an extraordinary leader who never lost sight of the people in his city. From his days as a city councilor in the Readville neighborhood of Hyde Park where he represented so many Stop & Shop workers and their families, to his two decades of service as Mayor of Boston, our family saw in Tom Menino an uncompromising style of leadership filled with compassion, integrity, and generosity of spirit. Tom always believed that the most effective way to lead was to go out into the community and listen to people. Tom connected to everyone from all walks of life because they saw and felt in him a clarity of focus. He devoted his life to helping everyone he was elected to represent, fighting for each of them every day, making life just a little bit easier for working families. I will always view Tom as this giant of a leader, a mentor who taught me that no matter where you come from, you need to talk with, feel with, and connect with people in order to help them. He brought everyone together from every background and every field — corporate, civic, and academic — to make the city he loved more diverse, tolerant, and equitable. Tom’s legacy will undoubtedly endure for generations to come. I know for me, I will carry his advice and wisdom forever. We extend our deepest condolences to Angela and the entire Menino family. Our loving thoughts are with you.

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