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Returning your call

December 28, 2007

Editor's note: Each Friday, Herald-Mail reporters and editors will answer some of the questions that are called in by readers to Mail Call. Consider this us returning your call.

Why are bagpipes played at funerals?



Q: "I'm calling to see if another caller could call in and tell me why, at a police officer's funeral or a firefighter's funeral, they always have bagpipes playing. I was wondering is some kind of tradition behind that? I would appreciate a call or an answer in the paper." - Hagerstown

A: There doesn't appear to be any single explanation. Here's one from www.texaspolicecentral.com, a Web site about law enforcement in Texas: "The history of the bagpipes for officers in the United State originates from law enforcement and firefighters in the eastern states. Most officers were of Irish (descent) and bagpipes traditionally announced the Queen Army marching to and from battle. With its beautiful tones, it is traditional to honor the officer and the family."

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