Special 9/11 Memorial Mass Honors Biloxi Firefighters - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Special 9/11 Memorial Mass Honors Biloxi Firefighters

Services began at Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Cathedral in Biloxi with the national anthem. 

On this eve of the 5th anniversary of 9/11, local firefighters in dress uniform march to a place of honor.  

"I remember a year ago you all being here on September the 11th last year, says Bishop Thomas Rodi addressing the firefighters. "Those were difficult days. You all did not look so good."

The special service led by Bishop Thomas Rodi honors local firefighters and other first responders who've served above and beyond the call of duty in the year following Katrina.

"We remember those awful days after Katrina," says Rodi. "Before any help began arriving from somewhere else, you were here as you always are."

Afterwards, Fire Department Chaplain John Jennings reflects on the past years challenges and triumphs.  

"This has been a very difficult year for all the citizens of Biloxi and especially the Fire Department," says Jennings. "They're not only dealing with their own loss of their own house, we're trying to rebuild our department and help the city rebuild. So it's good that whenever you work together it's important that you also play together and also very important that you form your community and pray together."

Biloxi Mayor A. J. Holloway sees Sunday's recognition as an honor to all city employees who he says distinguished themselves after the hurricane.  

"Police Department, Fire Department, Community Development, Public Works, Parks and Rec, all of them were first responders after Katrina," says Holloway.

Sacrifices that Bishop Rodi says are worthy of praise.  

"Thank you should not go unspoken," says Rodi. "They know we're grateful but it means even more when we say thank you for what you do."

by Don Culpepper

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