Blue Mass honors first responders

Winchester-Clark County first responders were honored for their sacrifices Monday at the 16th annual blue mass at St. Joseph Catholic Church.

The church’s first blue mass took place in 2002 as a way to remember the more than 2,900 people who lost their lives as a result of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

It soon grew into a community event recognizing local law enforcement, fire and EMS agencies for the daily impact they have on the city and county.

“So often in the past, we have taken our first responders for granted,” said Al Waters, a member of the Knights of Columbus. “We honor you who sacrifice your lives on a continuing daily basis for our security, protection, life and safety.”

Deacon Tony Fritz said the mass has become a special tradition for the parish, and the community as a whole.

“While a lot of other communities have went ahead and dropped it, we feel here at St. Joseph’s and in Winchester and Clark County that it is so very important to continue this tradition. We plan on continuing it for many years to come.”

The mass was attended by the Winchester Police Department, Winchester Fire/EMS, the Clark County Fire Department, the Clark County Sheriff’s Office and representatives from several other law enforcement agencies in surrounding counties.