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Fallen firefighters duly honored after 70 years

A memorial erected in front of the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center in Maverick Square in East Boston, the scene of a fire in 1942 where six firefighters lost their lives.

Essdras M Suarez/ Globe Staff

A memorial erected in front of the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center in Maverick Square in East Boston, the scene of a fire in 1942 where six firefighters lost their lives.

Hearty thanks for your article “Fallen firefighters honored after 70 years” (Metro, Nov. 15). John F. Foley (“Uncle Jack”), my great-great-uncle, was remembered at countless family gatherings to have fought and died, along with five other heroes, in the Luongo Restaurant fire in East Boston’s Maverick Square.

Just a few days shy of his retirement after 30 years as a Boston firefighter, he was apparently covering a day for a buddy with whom he had swapped shifts. I imagine there are relatives of the six everywhere who, like me, still harbor and hold with profound awe their personal connection to this tragic event, felt around the country just 13 days before the great conflagration at the Cocoanut Grove Nightclub that would overshadow the Luongo fire for 70 years. Thanks to Boston City Councilor Salvatore LaMattina and many other selfless folks in East Boston, this band of six brothers are lost in history’s mist no more.

Bill Pimentel

Winthrop

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