By Portia Williams
For the Knights of Columbus, as fall approaches, it is the ideal time of the year for the local community to show their gratitude and respect to those who protect and care for the community as well as the United States of America. The Knights of Columbus council 741 will host the Third Annual Blue Mass Recognition Ceremony on Thursday, Sept. 10, at 6 p.m. at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church.
According to Dave Timmerman, event coordinator, the purpose of the Blue Mass Recognition Ceremony event is to honor active duty and military veterans, active duty and retired law enforcement officers, fire/rescue personnel, corrections officers, and all of their family members. The general public is also invited to come out and show support of the brave men and women who serve the community.
Timmerman has served in the past as a Grand Knight, for The Knights of Columbus, and currently serves as a trustee. He also served eight years in the United States Army during the Vietnam War.
“We are hosting this event because blue lives matter, that is the gist of it,” Timmerman said. “Those that serve us, we want to acknowledge them and show our respect for what they do. I actually organized this event three years ago for the first time, and it has caught on rather well. It is a rather exclusive event, with the bagpipes and the drummer, and the music is all patriotic music. You don’t have to be a Catholic to come to this event, that is not what it’s all about.”
Beyond the local level, Timmerman said the Blue Mass has become a wonderful tradition all across the United States to pay respect and to thank our men and women in uniform, and to remember that it is only with their service that our communities and our country are as wonderfully safe as they are.
Succinctly, he said we should never forget that these men and women took an oath to protect us, and they do their duty daily, and in many cases under terrible conditions and at great potential harm to themselves and their safety.
According to Timmerman, The Knights of Columbus has a long history of supporting the brave men and women of the emergency services community. Within a few days of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the Knights began distributing nearly $1.5 million in direct aid to the families of slain police and rescue workers.
The Third Annual Blue Mass Recognition Ceremony will be held Thursday, Sept. 10, at 6 p.m. at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church, 1325 Gallia St., in Portsmouth. Following the service, a complimentary meal will be served in the activity center next to the church for everyone attending.
Reach Portia Williams at 740-353-3101, ext. 1929, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.