Pipes and drums out in full force - KXXV Central Texas News Now


Pipes and drums out in full force


Pipes and drums.  They've been a part of our country's fire departments for centuries, so it's no surprise they played a big role in today's procession for West's fallen.

Over 150 bagpipe and drum players from all over North America turned out, and tuned up.

"It's a fireman's tradition. It goes all the way back to the 1850's when the Scotts and the Irish came over during the Great Potato Famine," says Irving firefighter and bagpipe player, James Hisey.

So when fellow firefighters perish, it goes without saying, these musicians will show up.

Drum major Bob Welch says, "Myself and one member from Cleveland realized it was important to come down here and support the brotherhood and support the members down here and come for the funeral and show the families that, even though we didn't know them, they were still brothers to us."

Welch flew to Waco all the way from New Hampshire. 

John Willgohs came from Bernalillo County, New Mexico.  He says, "When you lose a fellow firefighter, you've lost somebody who understands why you do what you do. You've lost a friend, you've lost a brother and it's important to honor and respect them."

One group of bagpipe players came all the way from Canada to participate in today's procession.

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