The pipe and drum processions which began the September 11th ceremonies in Manhattan today are a tribute to the men and women who put everything on the line one year ago.
In Queens, the procession headed west on Northern Boulevard toward the Queensborough Bridge. It began with two men, the first in a series of teams, with each pair marching a mile and then handing off to the next marchers in line. On Staten Island, the 17-mile procession began at 1:00 a.m., with the destination for all the marchers being the World Trade Center. Anthony Johnson reports.
By 6:30 a.m., the bagpipers who left out of the Northern section of the Bronx were on the West Side of Manhattan making their way down to Ground Zero. Many of the bag pipers said this is going to be a day filled with sadness and reflection. There are over 50 band members but they are walking in smaller groups to make this task a little easier. Most are making this journey with a solemn heavy heart.
William Mansfield, Court Officers Pipes and Drums: "It is a solemn sad occasion. But one that we want to be there for."
Before the start of this 19 mile march, members of the New York State Courts Pipes and Drums band listened to inspirational biblical passages from the Psalms.
The march through the streets of the Bronx was filled with patriotism. Several fire units turned out overnight to watch the procession, and many ordinary citizens came out in the early morning hours of this September 11th to remember the heroes and victims that lost their lives one year ago. Some joined the bagpipers on their march.
Steve Beban, March Observer: "We felt that we would be out here to give them a boost at the start of the parade. We have to work all night and we know they have a tough journey all the way downtown. But we want to be part of it."
The drum and bagpipers are corrections and state court officers and they teamed up with other bands from Brooklyn, Staten Island, and Manhattan as they make their way down to Ground Zero for the day's emotional ceremony.
Joe Corben, Band Member: "There is nobody in this band who has not been touched by it, so it is our part of it and our way of remembering."
The bagpipers arrived at Ground Zero just after 7:30 a.m.