The passing this week of former, long-time Boston Mayor Thomas Menino truly removes from our lives a man whose devotion to his city and its people was second to none.
The incredible outpouring of genuine sadness and respect expressed by persons from all walks of life and from stations high and low bore witness to the feelings of mutual love and respect that all of us felt toward Tom Menino.
It does not take rocket science to be a mayor of a city — even one as diverse and as complicated as a large city such as Boston — but it does require a dedication to the proposition that being mayor means that it is your job to make sure that everyone is treated with respect, that everyone’s voice will be heard, and that everyone’s legitimate needs will be met to the greatest extent possible.
Tom Menino strived toward only one goal — to make Boston the greatest city on the planet. For him, being Mayor was not about the trappings of the office, or personal aggrandizement, or any of the usual reasons that make some people seek political office that typically are related to self-interest.
Rather, Tom Menino knew, as did the people of Boston for election-after-election, that he was the best person for the job because no one cared more about the city, and would devote himself to bettering the lives of its people, more than he would. That simple, basic fact was evident in everything he did and in the manner in which he conducted himself while in office.
Tom Menino was a wonderful human being. That’s as simple as it gets.
May he rest in peace.