Marine plays bagpipes to honor fallen service members

Updated: May. 31, 2021 at 7:49 PM EDT
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ANDERSONVILLE, Ga. (WALB) - A retired marine is using music from his father’s homeland to help people celebrate fallen heroes this Memorial Day.

Retired U.S. Marine Corps Colonel Dan Gillan has been playing bagpipes at Andersonville National Cemetary on Memorial Day for over a decade.

“There’s something about the sound of the pipes, this beautiful setting. It just reaches in and grabs your soul,” he said.

Gillan was attracted to the pipes because his father is from Ireland. He has been playing since he was 13 years old. He told WALB’s Gabrielle Ware that on Memorial Day, emotions are high.

“Oftentimes it’s emotional. There’s a ranger who works here, who actually last Christmas he had me play for one of his Marines. He was killed in action in Afghanistan,” he said.

He’s served his county, and now he serves his community. And, it seems like service runs in the family.

“My dad, my uncles served, I’m the first one to make it a career. And I’ve got another brother who made it a career and now my son is a corporal,” he explained.

His son Jared Gillan will be stationed in North Korea next month. But today, he’s with his father, helping people remember American heroes.

“It’s wonderful to see the amount of people that he brings together while doing this and the amount of emotion that is spread,” Jared said.

Colonel Daniel Gillan plays the bagpipes at Andersonville National Cemetary on Memorial Day.
Colonel Daniel Gillan plays the bagpipes at Andersonville National Cemetary on Memorial Day.(WALB)

“You look around this place. This hallowed ground so to speak, it’s a place that brings the community together. And to celebrate the freedoms that our country is founded upon, and all the good that it represents. We’re not perfect. But, we’ve got an awesome country,” added Daniel Gillan.

Gillan plans to be out here again next year, bagpipes in hand.

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