CENTRAL TOLEDO -- Fire engines lined Collingwood Street on Tuesday, but there were no flames to be found. The trucks and their crews packed Rosary Cathedral for a "Blue Mass" to celebrate those who serve our city, and those who lost their lives on September 11th, 2001.
Tuesday was the sixth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on America that killed 3,000 people. There were solemn ceremonies at a park near Ground Zero in New York City, at the Pentagon, at the White House, and at a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania where another plane crashed that fateful day.
The Blue Mass started as any other, with a procession of clergy including Bishop Leonard Blair. But the service was for those "in service," whether they were police officers, firefighters, or servicemen and women from our military.
"If nobody shows up, it's like everybody is forgotten," said firefighter Ed Granados. "I don't want my brothers to be forgotten. I'm not going to forget them, and I hope nobody else does."
Also remembered was Toledo Police detective Keith Dressell, who was killed in a confrontation with a suspect back in February. His parents took part in the mass.
Other parishioners attended the service to pray for those service people sitting alongside them. "This is my way of supporting all of those who are lost on this day [in] 2001, and all of those who work everyday to take care of us, in all kinds of situations," said Stan Schneider, who attended the Mass.
On a day that is profoundly difficult for those in service, the prayers and the Mass mean more than ever. "As a firefighter, it makes me feel good about what I'm doing," said Granados.