John T. Fitzmaurice, a homeless veteran, recently passed away on the streets of Boston. He died with no living family members or friends -- meaning that no one would attend his burial. But that all changed when Catholic Memorial high school decided to step in to give Fitzmaurice a final farewell.
In a partnership with a local ministry and funeral home, Catholic Memorial planned a funeral for Fitzmaurice, holding a full mass for him in the school’s chapel prior to his burial, CBS Boston reported.
Fitzmaurice was buried Wednesday with full military honors, according to CBS Boston. Many of the school’s students attended and participated in the funeral -- paying their respects to the veteran despite not knowing much about him.
“We have a lot of veterans in my family so I know the sacrifice he made for the country and I know the service he committed in the years he committed to serving our country,” senior class president Will Padden told CBS Boston.
Rev. Chris Palladino led the mass and said the eulogy.
After the mass, some of Catholic Memorial’s seniors took Fitzmaurice’s flag-draped casket to the waiting Army hearse.
“John, in this case, needed a family and we were there to be John's family,” Padden said.