Dayton Blue Mass honors first responders on 9/11

Miami Valley News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The Knights of Columbus in Dayton honored first responders who served on 9/11 and first responders who serve in the Miami Valley.

The Knights of Columbus in Dayton held their annual Blue Mass at St. Rita’s Catholic Church on Saturday.

“This is important for us to recognize the work that they do day in and day out,” Knights of Columbus District 2 Master Mike Gauder said.

The Dayton Knights of Columbus hold their Blue Mass each year to recognize first responders that put their lives on the line to service our communities.

Gauder said holding the ceremony on 9/11 holds even greater significance.

“We remember them always and evermore for the services that they did for us on that horrific day,” Gauder said.

After mass, the Blue Coat of the year award is given to local first responders.

Three Vandalia police officers were recognized for saving the lives of several in an apartment fire in January.

“Sgt. Nagel decided to take a lifesaving action and scale the railing and lead the resident of apartment H down to us. We were just doing our jobs, but to be recognized is a really good feeling,” Vandalia police officer Kristen Thomas said.

“Our citizens’ lives come before ours as to get out there, get them out of the building first and that’s what we get there for,” Vandalia Sgt. Doug Nagel said. “It’s quick thinking, quick action and that’s what saves lives.”

Whether the first responders are helping our communities, or helped the day of the tragic attacks on 9/11, Gauder said this day is a day of reflection.

“Maybe we’ve learned something since that time, we’ve learned something about ourselves in terms of service, and our willingness to unite as a country,” Gauder said.

History of the Blue Mass dates back to 1934 and is held by Knights of Columbus chapters across the country.

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