By Colleen Rowan WEIRTON—On the eve of the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States, the Catholic community of Weirton will honor their heroes—police, firefighters, emergency medical services personnel, members of the military, and their families. A Blue Mass will be celebrated for them at noon on Sept. 10 at St. Joseph the Worker Church in Weirton by Very Rev. Dennis R. Schuelkens, Jr., V.E. Joining in the celebration will be students from the Catholic schools of Weirton—Madonna High School, St. Joseph the Worker Grade School, and St. Paul School. The Blue Mass is celebrated at St. Joseph the Worker Church each year at this time to pray for and to thank those who put their lives on the line for others. “The first responders, police, firefighters, EMS, etc., and the military, and all those who run into a tragic situation when everyone else is running out, are to be commended and continually lifted up in the public setting,” Father Schuelkens said. “If we do not, as a community, honor the heroic and sacrificial disposition of these careers, then we will lose their dutiful and life-giving service.” Across the nation, faithful will be praying for and remembering the close to 3,000 people killed 20 years ago in the terrorist attacks in New York, at the Pentagon, and in a field near Shanksville, Pa. Many who were killed were police, firefighters, and other first responders. In his homily at last year’s Blue Mass, Father Schuelkens said that on that day, they give thanks to the Lord for those individuals who say yes to God’s call of protecting others, for those who say: “‘Yes, I will defend, and I will protect, and I will help even at the risk of my own life.’ We give thanks because there are law enforcement officers, there are firefighters, there are first responders, and there are people in the military who say, ‘I’ll step forward, I’ll take the risk.’”