Cardinal Wuerl leads the 'Blue Mass' procession to St. Patrick's Catholic Church, with a bagpipe in the foreground.
The D.C. region's first responders, along with their families a friends, joined the Archbishop of Washington — Cardinal Donald Wuerl — to celebrate the 18th annual "Blue Mass."
The mass began with a procession up 10th Street NW to St Patrick's church. Members of law enforcement, and fire and rescue slowly marched into the church to begin the yearly mass to honor the contributions of local and federal law enforcement.
"It's definitely a moving experience to be part of this ceremony for the people who gave their life on the job," said James DeGregory, with DC Fire and Rescue.
Inside the church, the solemn mass conducted by Cardinal Wuerl included individual tributes to colleagues in the region killed in the line of duty in the past year.
"We must never forget the dedication of those in law enforcement, and firefighters who serve this community," said Cardinal Wuerl.
The "Blue Mass" marked the beginning of National Police Week. This tradition began in 1934. Today it recognizes the more than 900,000 law officers and fire emergency professionals serving here and around the U.S.
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