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Monday, July 21, 2003

Woman on a Mission: Mass.

Woman on a Mission: Mass. Fire Survivor Stops at Westport Fire HQ to Say Thanks Fourteen years ago, Lynda McNeil handed her 3-week-old baby to a firefighter atop at ladder in Andover, Mass., outside her burning home. Sunday night she stopped in Westport on her personal walkathon in support of firefighters to say thanks for her daughters life and hers.
Lynda McNeil, 53, shares dinner Sunday night with Westport firefighters. The Andover, Mass., woman is on a 300-mile walk to New York City to emphasize the importance of supporting firefighters. WestportNow.com photo
The 53-year-old grandmother began her 300-mile walk from Andover to New York City on June 16. Westport firefighters gave her a warm greeting, a firehouse dinner, and a bed for the night. ғThese guys are great, she said. ԓIf it werent for them, I wouldnҒt be here. When people save your life, you owe them your life. But when people save your childs life, you own them your soul.Ҕ Merely saying thanks to Andover firefighters wasnt enough for McNeil. In the years since, she has helped raise money for fallen firefighters and attended a New York City memorial service for firefighters killed in the World Trade Center tragedy. She says her summer walk is intended to educate people about ғthe unmet needs of fire departments and those who serve in them. A call that sent firefighters scrambling and left McNeil alone at the table interrupted Sunday nightԒs dinner at Westport fire headquarters. It turned out to be a false alarm. It (the sound of sirens) takes me right back,Ӕ she said. ItӒs very difficult on the other side. But you know, that sound is the sweetest music you ever heard if you are in trouble. Even though sheԒs got arthritis and fibromyalgia a disorder of the muscles and bones ֖ McNeil is determined to make it to New York City next week. And when she does, shell have fond memories of Westport and other stops along the way.


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