Mayor Michael Menino died at 71 years of age. He had been a lovable figure for the inhabitants of Boston.
He had sworn that it didn’t necessarily take extra vision to lead a town into the 21st century. And so Mayor Menino had shown this to be true by refurbishing the city and changing its very landscape (and mindscape). He was the man responsible for giving the city a new identity. And he had served the people of his city for five terms in office. The dude was a dynamo alright.
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Today he is no more with us. Menino contracted cancer and departed this world for the next at 71 years of age. He was everything but a visionary. According to Menino, visionaries were into pipe dreams and they never got things off the ground. So he separated himself from dreamers and star-gazers.
An intensely practical man, Menino set about turning the very building blocks of Boston into something new. Menino was into transforming things from the ground up. He was a bricoleur and urban engineer par excellence.
Menino was definitely an old timer and he was a gutsy and go-getting politician. He didn’t promise you the moon but he would nevertheless deliver whatever little he said he would do. This was his good point since most politicians just don’t meet the expectations of the people.
He turned the very liveliness and spirit of Boston around and made the city a central unit of the Century of the Mind. The very map of the place got rehauled for the better. Everything took place on a piecemeal basis and so slowly and steadily things got accomplished instead of being left on the wayside.
According to the new mayor who has taken his place, no other man had more love for his native city of Boston. He totally changed the city and was responsible for giving it an urban facelift and metropolitan makeover. It is thanks to him that Boston is such a wonderful place today.
“No man possessed a greater love for our city, and his dedicated life in service to Boston and her people changed the face of the city,” said his successor, Mayor Martin J. Walsh.
“With sheer determination and unmatched work ethic,” Walsh said, Mr. Menino “put us on the world stage as a national leader in health care, education, innovation, and the nitty-gritty of executing basic city services. Because of his leadership, Boston is a better place today.”
Menino managed his city’s finances with acumen and ability. Obama praised him by saying that he was bold, bighearted and strong. President Obama issued a statement on death of Mayor Tom Menino. He said:
"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."
He had been seeing declining health since awhile. Now that he is no more among us, our prayers go out for his journey in the afterlife. May his friends and family as well as the people of Boston find the strength to endure the loss of a great man with a great will.
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