NEWARK, New Jersey (WABC) -- New Jersey will honor its entire police force this morning in Newark's Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart.
The 29th annual Blue Mass honors the dedication and sacrifices made by all law enforcement personnel, past, present, and deceased.
This year's mass will pay tribute to four local police officers who were killed in the line of duty, as well as a former Newark resident who was an officer in Maryland and died earlier this year.
10 officers who recently died of COVID-19 will also be honored.
The Archdiocese of Newark says that Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R., Archbishop of Newark, will preside over the Mass, though there will be officers present of all faiths, representing federal, state, county, and municipal departments and agencies.
"It is always important for police officers to recognize and understand that they are not alone, that they are part of a very important 'thin blue line' that protects society from all that seeks to destroy it," Chief Christopher Trucillo of the NJ Transit Police Department, who is also the Blue Mass' honorary chairman, said. "I believe the Blue Mass brings this home in a spiritual way by showing police officers that they matter, what they do matters, and that good people - the majority of people - appreciate them and their sacrifice."
Aside from the officers who are being honored, the families of those who have died will also be present.