IAFF Local 1464
  • December 14, 2017
    Member Login
    Username:

    Password:

    Forgot Your Login?
    << December 2017 >>
    S M T W T F S
    1 2
    3 4 5 6 7 8 9
    10 11 12 13 14 15 16
    17 18 19 20 21 22 23
    24 25 26 27 28 29 30
    31
    Important Links
    Scituate Fire Department
    PFFM
    IAFF
    Mass. OEMS
    Firefighter Near Miss Reporting System
    EMS Training Ltd.
    Mass. PERAC
    SMART Plan
    Boston Firefighters Credit Union
    Rockland Firefighters L-1602
    Marshfield Firefighters L-2568
    Worcester Fire Fighters L-1009
    Contact Elected Officials!
    Site Search
    Site Map
    RSS Feeds
    Google
  • Bagpipes
    Posted On: Feb 24, 2009

    Bagpipes

    The tradition of bagpipes played at fire department and police department funerals in the United States goes back over one hundred fifty years. When the Irish and Scottish immigrated to this country, they brought many of their traditions with them. One of these was the bagpipe, often played at Celtic weddings, funerals and ceilis (dances). 

    It wasn't until the great potato famine and massive Irish immigration to the East Coast of the United States that the tradition of the bagpipes really took hold in the fire department. In the 1800's, Irish immigrants faced massive discrimination. Factories and shops had signs reading "NINA" - No Irish Need Apply. The only jobs they could get were the ones no one else wanted - jobs that were dirty, dangerous, or both - firefighters and police officers. It was not an uncommon event to have several firefighters killed at a working fire. The Irish firefighters' funerals were typical of all Irish funerals - the pipes were played. It was somehow okay for a hardened firefighter to cry at the sound of bagpipes when his dignity would not let him weep for a fallen comrade. 

    Those who have attended a funeral where bagpipes were played know how haunting and mournful the sound of the pipes can be. The most famous song played at fire and police funerals is Amazing Grace. It wasn't too long before families and friends of non-Irish firefighters began asking for the bagpipes to be played for fallen heroes. The bagpipes add a special air and dignity to this solemn occasion. 

    Bagpipe bands represent both fire and police often have more than 60 uniformed playing members. They are also traditionally known as Emerald Societies after Ireland - the Emerald Isle. Many bands wear traditional Scottish dress while others wear the simpler Irish uniform. All members wear the kilt and tunic, whether it is a Scottish clan tartan or Irish single color kilt. 

    Today, the tradition is universal and not just for the Irish or Scottish. The bagpipes have become a distinguishing feature of a fallen hero's funeral.


  • IAFF Local 1464

    Copyright © 2017.
    All Rights Reserved.

    Powered By UnionActive


  • Top of Page image