Charity single remembers 9/11 firefighters
The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) will host the official launch of a charity single raising funds in memory of New York firefighters killed in the September 11 attacks.
Celtic rock band the Red Hot Chilli Pipers composed the ‘The Fallen’ to mark the 15th anniversary of the tragedy.
The collapse of the Twin Towers claimed the lives of 343 members of the Fire Department of New York (FDNY), while many others have since died from serious health conditions linked to their role at the scene.
Recently retired SFRS Watch Manager Willie Armstrong is a musician with the Red Hot Chilli Pipers and a friend of FDNY Pipe Major Jimmy Lee.
They put the ‘Chillis’ together with fellow pipers from New York to record the special track, with all proceeds to be shared between the Scottish Fire and Rescue Family Support Trust and The FDNY Emerald Society Pipes.
Willie said: “As a band we all wanted to do something to remember the firefighters who were killed that tragic day.
“In 2007 we were invited over to New York to do a fundraising concert for their families and we have an ongoing partnership with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service charity the Family Support Trust.
“Firefighters risk their lives to save others and they really are a humble but special breed of people – and the loss of so many of our colleagues at 9/11 touched people in fire services around the world.
“Having only retired this year from the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service I wanted to give something back.
“Recording a special single seemed a fitting way to remember those we’ve lost and support two great causes in Scotland and New York.”
The single, which is available on iTunes, will be officially launched at the SFRS Headquarters in Cambuslang, near Glasgow on Friday 9 September.
It incorporates a tune composed by Pipe Major R.S. MacDonald to honour the FDNY Firefighters killed at 9/11.
An emotional video accompanies the track, honouring the sacrifice made by firefighters on both sides of the Atlantic.
It can be viewed on the SFRS website at https://www.firescotland.gov.uk/red-hot-chilli-pipers.aspx.
Jimmy Lee added: “The Pipes and Drums of the FDNY made it their mission to play at every single funeral of the 343 firefighters that lost their lives on September 11 2001 and we continue to play at many funerals today.
“We wanted to do something special to honour the 343 brothers we lost that day, including two members of the pipe band.
“Working with Willie and the Red Hot Chilli Pipers was an incredible experience!”
The SFRS Family Support Trust is the oldest fire and rescue charity in the UK.
Established in 1923, it exists to provide financial and other support to serving and retired fire service personnel and their families in times of need.
The FDNY Emerald Society Pipes and Drums began in 1962 and works to commemorate fallen firefighters.
After 9/11 its musicians made it their mission to honour their colleagues by playing at every funeral and memorial service for those killed in the line of duty at the World trade Center.