Why Are Bagpipes Played At Police Funerals, Military, And Firemen Funerals You might wonder why every time there is a policeman lost in the line of duty; there will almost always be bagpipes played. The US military has also adopted the bagpipes for many of their larger funerals, and you'll also hear them played for politicians as well. This has it's rooted in the US Northeast beginning at least 150 years ago and has since become an American tradition no matter the ethnicity of the fallen policeman or fireman. Many chapters sponsor pipe-and-drum bands. Bagpipe bands are now standard for police and firefighters. Dear Elsa, Playing bagpipes and uillean pipes at funerals is a longstanding tradition among Irish and Scots that came to the New World wholesale during the potato famine. Working together. A big promoter of this practice over the past half century has been the Emerald Society, an Irish fraternal organization found at many police departments. Why Bagpipes Are Played at Funerals. The same goes for many military and firefighters funerals as well. It wasn’t long until the mournful sounds of a bagpipe were played for non-Irish firefighters. Denied all but the toughest and most dangerous jobs at a time when they were viewed by the predominant Anglo-American population much the way Mexicans are today, Irishmen tended to dominate the fire houses and police in New … On average, the bands have more than 60 uniformed playing members. Perhaps the popularity of bagpipes at funerals is simply a matter of aesthetics. In the United States, bagpipes are often played at the funerals of police officers, firefighters, soldiers, and other state workers. In any case, the instrument most commonly used at American … Many believe the sound of the bagpipes adds a sorrowful, yet dignified air to the funeral.

The instrument has a particularly mournful sound that makes it perfect for "Amazing Grace" and other hymns—but that's not the only reason it's used. When cops wanted to salute their fallen brethren they thought quite naturally of the pipes, which had been played at funerals for hundreds of years.