The men and women in blue, who rescue and calm any soul in trouble, are to be given personal thanks for their service in a special Blue Mass.

It is 5:30 p.m. Tuesday and is for all fire, police, emergency medical services and other First Responders in Clinton County. It's in DeWitt because of the city's central location, organizers said.

The event is to say "thank you" to the Good Samaritans among us, said Dave Schumacher, of the Knights of Columbus in DeWitt. 

Bishop Thomas Zinkula of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Davenport leads the service at St. Joseph's Catholic Church. But organizers describe it as ecumenical in nature.

"There is danger involved in their work, and risk," Zinkula said. "We will pray for their safety."

The bishop pointed out that a Mass, or religious service, is often a celebration of life, as in the case of the Blue Mass.

It is named a Blue Mass because of the color of the uniforms worn by most First Responders.

"The timing is as close to Sept. 11 as we can get it," Schumaker said, describing the service and reception following as a special way to honor the First Responders.

Participants are encouraged to wear their uniforms but there's no requirement to do so.

There will be light refreshments following the service, and time to talk to the First Responders. "The idea is to express gratitude for what they do for us," Schumacher said

According to the website for the nation's 9/11 memorial, names of all who died in New York City attacks occurring in 1993 and 2001 are inscribed on brass panels and around two Memorial pools, located in the footprint of the former Twin Towers.

This is "a powerful reminder of the largest loss of life resulting from a foreign attack on American soil and the greatest single loss of rescue personnel in American history," the website reads.

The first Blue Mass in 2016 was well-attended, Schumacher said, "but there is room for more." 

The event is sponsored by the Knights of Columbus organizations in DeWitt, Clinton, Camanche, Grand Mound, Lost Nation, Toronto and Oxford Junction.

The public is invited to attend.