Blue Mass a chance to honor sacrifice

It is only fitting that the men and women who look after us as police officers, firefighters and emergency medical technicians should have someone looking after them.

The annual Blue Mass is set to be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. Sunday at Holy Name Cathedral in Steubenville.

Steubenville Patrolman Eric Hart and his wife, Alexandra, have organized the Mass during the past several years. The first Blue Mass was celebrated at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Washington, D.C., in 1934.

Police officers, firefighters and emergency medical workers dedicate their lives to helping others. They have dangerous jobs and never know what their shifts at work will bring – just like the men and women who reported to work in New York City on Sept. 11, 2001.

The Harts try to hold the Blue Mass as close to Sept. 11 as possible.

The Mass is a way to ask for protection and guidance on the job.

All area departments have been invited to attend the event.

Steubenville Police officer Shawn Scott and Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation Agent J.P. Rigaud will sing “Amazing Grace.” And Steubenville High School Marching Band Director Rick Hicks is set to play taps during the Mass.

Mark Nelson of Nelson Fine Arts and Gifts has created a special gift for each uniformed officer attending the Blue Mass.

Police officers, firefighters and emergency medical workers rarely get the thanks they deserve for the jobs they do every hour of the day, every day of the year.

They are expected to be there when called upon for help.

Those men and women who work responding to emergencies have very stressful jobs

They need to know that their work is appreciated.

The Blue Mass gives those in law enforcement and fire departments throughout the Upper Ohio Valley a chance to bow their heads and ask for help, protection and the courage to continue.