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Bagpipe Brothers: The FDNY Band's True Story of Tragedy, Mourning, and Recovery
     

Bagpipe Brothers: The FDNY Band's True Story of Tragedy, Mourning, and Recovery

by Kerry Sheridan
 

After the 9/11 World Trade Center terrorist attacks, New York City's Emerald Society Bagpipe Band of firefighter-musicians took out their instruments and prepared to bury their dead—343 brothers in duty and in blood. Many firefighters alternated between playing their instruments at funerals and digging for the missing in the rubble of Ground Zero. The Irish

Overview

After the 9/11 World Trade Center terrorist attacks, New York City's Emerald Society Bagpipe Band of firefighter-musicians took out their instruments and prepared to bury their dead—343 brothers in duty and in blood. Many firefighters alternated between playing their instruments at funerals and digging for the missing in the rubble of Ground Zero. The Irish American tradition of funeral bagpiping became the sound of mourning for an entire nation.

Bagpipe Brothers tells the unforgettable story of four firefighters in the band, who struggled to bring peace to their families and themselves while searching for the dead, coping with the endless round of funerals, and rethinking the meaning of faith. Their experiences illustrate the grief and recovery of the nation in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks.

Kerry Sheridan has written the first book to cover the ordeal of the massive number of funerals, the importance of recovering bodies in Irish American culture, and the bagpiping ritual, both traditional and modern.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Journalist Sheridan recounts with startling immediacy the events following the 9/11 terrorist attacks as they affected the Fire Department of New York's pipe and drum band. After setting the stage with the development of the Irish American bands since the early 1960s, providing some insight into firehouse culture and discussing several other fires, she weaves together the stories of disparate families and friends as they coped with the devastation of the 343 firefighters lost at the World Trade Center. The firefighters in the band were overextended as they played for as many as 19 memorial services in one day, all the while working at the recovery site and serving as surrogate parents to their fallen comrades' children or comforters to the widows. Sheridan's terse phrasing reflects her profession, and her own Irish background betrays a deep affection for the plight of those she is privileged to interview. The raw emotions and suspense fully involve the reader in this harrowing tale. Recommended for all libraries to sit alongside Dennis Smith's Report from Ground Zero and David Halberstam's Firehouse as a testament to the resilience and humanity of these brave souls. It will especially interest libraries in the New York area or collections on firefighting or bagpipe bands.-Barry Zaslow, Miami Univ. Libs., Oxford, OH Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780813538617
Publisher:
Rutgers University Press
Publication date:
05/28/2004
Series:
Rivergate Book Series
Pages:
264
Sales rank:
1,292,076
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

Meet the Author

Kerry Sheridan is an editor on the Middle East desk of Agence France Presse in Cyprus. She has worked as a freelance correspondent in Cairo, Egypt, and has written for the San Francisco Chronicle and Irish American newspapers in New York and California.

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