Bells of remembrance tolled as South Mississippi first responders filed into Our Lady of Lourdes church to mark the sixth anniversary of 9/11.
"Through these events, we have painfully learned that our country is vulnerable," said Frank Koch, as the mass began.
Solemn faces of first responders reflected upon the sacrifice of their brothers and sisters in New York six years ago.
"We pray for healing for all the people whose lives were shattered in the attacks," said Koch, as bowed heads paused in prayer.
"As we remember, hold us in your loving hands," Koch prayed.
Father Dennis Carver praised the selfless service of police and firefighters and EMTs. The priest urged the children to consider these men and women their heros.
"You give a powerful example of self sacrifice. The kind of love of Jesus Christ, demonstrated so incredibly graphically in the first responders of nine eleven," said Father Carver.
A ceremony of remembrance and recognition followed the mass. Those gathered recalled the legacy of 9/11 heros.
Joe Spence with the Knights of Columbus reminded the crowd of the legacy of September 11th heros.
"Each world trade center tower completely collapsed and fell to the ground and thousands of people died, including first responders who were going into the towers to rescue people who were already in there when the planes struck," Spence recalled.
The Knights of Columbus recognized police and firefighters. Plaques and medals handed out commemorate those emergency responders who fell on 9/11.
"As true heros. I mean they went into the building... they went into the building, knowing it was coming down," said program chairman Skip Barrett.
The blessing of vehicles ended the memorial ceremony, saluting those who pledge to "serve and protect," no matter what the emergency.