Today, public safety and law enforcement officers from the Washington, DC Metropolitan area gathered at St.Patrick’s Catholic Church to pray for a mass to honor those who serve in law enforcement and fire safety, and remember the fallen. The Mass included an honor guard, bagpipers, and the solemn playing of "Taps" in memory of those who gave their lives in the past year.
Blue Mass began in 1934, when police officers gathered to pray for their fallen comrades and seek God's blessing for their own safety. The tradition stopped in the mid-1970s but has since resumed in grander fashion than ever. The name "Blue Mass" comes from the traditional color of many officers' uniforms.
Before Mass, hundreds of law enforcement officers and public safety officials gather outside for the solemn processional into St. Patrick's. Units from federal, state, and local jurisdictions gather in formation to pass under a huge American flag proudly hung over the street by two fire ladder trucks. Also gathered outside are officers on horseback, as well as pipe and drum corps units.
The principal celebrant and homilist for the Blue Mass was His Eminence Donald Cardinal Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington.