On Sept. 15, 2012, the New York City Fire Department Emerald Society Pipes and Drums Band will be celebrating its 50th year in service to the FDNY and New York City at a special reception at Citi Field. The event will include a performance of the entire ninety member Band marching in from centerfield. The Band will be honored at the Empire State Building on this night as the building will be bathed in green and white lights.
These men are a true band of brothers who have always been there when called to service. They represent the best of the Irish spirit and tradition and they brought New York City through some of its darkest days.
The New York City Fire Department Emerald Society Pipes and Drums was started in 1962 with seventeen charter members and the idea that it would foster and develop a greater appreciation for Irish music and encourage the preservation of Irish culture and traditions. The Band has played throughout the country, and internationally in the United Kingdom and throughout Europe. Today, the Band plays at over two hundred events a year, including weddings, wreath-laying ceremonies, plaque dedications, funerals, parades, and fundraisers for charitable organizations such as The Wounded Warrior Project, Wings Over Wall Street, and the Special Olympics, amongst others.
The Band has a special connection to Port Washington in that it has marched down Main Street for several Port Washington Fire Department special anniversaries. The Band’s founding Drum Major James “Big Jim” Corcoran has his final resting place in Nassau Knolls Cemetery in Port Washington.
Who could forget the Band’s proudest achievements after 9/11/2001 when it was decided that there would be representation from the Band at all 343 FDNY members' funerals. This band of brothers persevered to perform this solemn duty in loving support for the families. This was no easy task, with members sometimes playing twelve to fifteen funerals a day, making sure no family went unserved. Selfless acts such as this are common to the New York City Fire Department Emerald Society Pipes and Drums.
I am proud to say that one of the original charter members of the band is my father in law Eddie McLoughlin of Port Washington who is 83 years young and still marches with his brothers. Our family will look at the Band with great pride this Saturday evening as we have done so for many years. May God continue to Bless and watch over this Band of Brothers.
Go mbeannaí Dia duit.