Firefighters from across New England — and from as far away as Canada — joined residents of Worcester and neighboring communities Monday to pay final their respects to Worcester Firefighter, Lt. Jason Menard, who died last week while saving two members of his crew as they battled a house fire.

Thousands lined the streets of Worcester to pay their respects and to support the wife and three children Menard left behind. He was posthumously given the medal of valor, the highest honor bestowed upon a firefighter. He was laid to rest at St. John’s Cemetery on Cambridge Street in Worcester.

Menard is the ninth Worcester firefighter to die while on duty since 1999, and this year marks the twentieth anniversary of the city's Cold Storage Warehouse fire, which killed six firefighters.

At the funeral, Danny Pace — the brother of Chris Pace, one of the crew members whose life Menard saved — said his family will forever be indebted to Menard for saving his only brother's life.

“Jay is the definition of a hero,” Pace said, adding that he was ”a man of integrity, and he took his oath as a firefighter seriously.”

Gov. Charlie Baker, House Speaker Robert DeLeo, Sen. Ed Markey, Rep. Joe Kennedy and other lawmakers also attended the funeral and listened as every speaker praised Menard's courage and heroism.

Glenn Trevallion and his wife Mary attend the funeral of Lt. Jason Menard, who worked alongside their son at the Worcester Fire Department.
Marilyn Schairer WGBH News

Listening to the service on speakers outside the church, Glenn Trevallion — a 33-year veteran of the Wilbraham Fire Department — saluted Menard’s coffin atop the Worcester Ladder truck as it went past him. Trevallion's son is a Worcester firefighter and worked alongside Menard.

Trevallion said Menard’s actions are worthy of all the praise bestowed upon him.

“He was a very good firefighter and his training really showed up,” he said.

Trevallion's wife, Mary, choked up as she added, “it’s just hard to think what these guys do to save other people’s lives.”