SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Diocese of Springfield held the annual Blue Mass to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks and to honor our local heroes.

According to a statement released from The Diocese of Springfield, the Mass was open to all first responders including: firefighters, state and local police, paramedics, corrections officers, federal law enforcement, and those serving in the military.

An American flag was flown high over State Street in Springfield, as men and women in uniform proudly marched in procession into St. Michael’s Cathedral.

“It’s a great honor to be here to represent the Springfield Fire Department, and the men and women of the Springfield Fire Department,” said Fire Commissioner BJ Calvi. “We are very grateful that the Bishop puts on this “Blue Mass” every year.”

A “Blue’ Mass” is held annually in the U.S. within the Catholic church and it’s meant to honor workers in public safety. The mass was held a day after the 20th anniversary of the September 11th terror attacks where nearly 3,000 people were killed including, 412 emergency workers and 343 firefighters.

Sunday’s mass also honored those who died in the line of duty and those who are currently serving.

“I think it helps us all heal and helps us hold on to the hope. Prayer is good. The Lord is good,” said Sgt. Derek Cook of the Springfield Police Department.

It was a time to heal for many and to also remember the great sacrifices made by first responders and those who serve in the military every day.

“Jesus said, ‘There is no greater love than this, than to lay down one’s life for a friend,’ and when you look at 9/11, that is exactly what these men and women did,” said Carolee McGrath of the Diocese of Springfield. “They lived that, and they continue to live that in every community, around the country, and right here in western Massachusetts.”

Sunday’s Blue Mass event was shown on air during “Chalice of Salvation,” and online.