Retired Marines special ties for 9/11 memorial - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Retired Marines special ties for 9/11 firefighter memorial ceremony

LEE CO., GA (WALB) -

That 9-11 memorial ceremony will open  with bagpipes played by Lee County's Dan Gillan,  who has strong emotional ties to 9-11.

He was stationed at the Pentagon at the time of the attacks, and his father and grandfather were both firefighters.

Dan Gillan is a retired Marine Lt. Colonel, who plays the bagpipes. And he says when asked to play at tonight's State Firefighter Conference 9-11 memorial, it was something meaningful to his entire life.

Dan Gillan warms up his bagpipes to play at tonight's 9-11 memorial ceremony, for the hundreds of visiting firefighters. He knows his instrument is made for these occasions.

Gillan said "It draws at your heart. And that's what 9-11 is to me. It's drawing at our hearts so that we never forget."

The firefighter tie to the 9-11 ceremony speaks to Gillan's life story. His father and grandfather were firefighters. His father, Martin Gillan, died fighting a fire in Maywood Illinois in January 1972. Gillan was a Marine stationed at the Pentagon on 9-11.

Gillan said "I was not in the building at the time. I know people who were. Know people that were injured, know people that were absolutely heroes that day rendering aid in the parking lot."

Gillan served 3 deployments to Iraq. Now retired, Gillan says he is honored to play his bagpipes at tonight's ceremony. Which he says will be emotional to him.

 Gillan said "Everytime I play my pipes I think about my Dad. My family. I think about the Marines I served with over the years."

A special ceremony, for a retired Marine.  Playing in honor of his family, comrades, and country.

Dan Gillan hopes these memorial ceremonies continue to be held every year on September 11th, so the nation never forgets the terror attacks that killed so many men and women.  And the heroic efforts of first responders that lost their lives that day.

The 9-11 memorial ceremony for the Firefighters Conference will begin at Veteran's Park in Albany at 6:30.

Copyright 2013 WALB.  All rights reserved.  

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