Longview police, fire and EMS officials as well as members of the Gregg County Sheriff’s Office gathered Wednesday evening for a “Blue Mass” at St. Matthew Catholic Church.

The event aimed to recognize first responders as they are “our ‘angels’ in our day-to-day lives,” according to information from the church.

The first Blue Mass was in 1934 when a priest in Baltimore initiated the Catholic Police and Fireman’s Society while stationed at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Washington, D.C. About 1,100 police and firefighters in uniform marched into the church Sept. 29, 1934, for the event.