View Full Version : MarForRes Band helps begin 9-11 memorials in New York City

09-09-02, 07:44 AM
New York City(Sept 6,2002) -- The sound of bagpipes, the roar of drums and the voices of thousands shook the walls of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City Friday night. Police Officers and firefighters from around the country gathered, and at first glance one might think it was a St. Patrick's Day celebration. It was not Saint Patty's Day, but it was a celebration...it was a celebration of "lives".

"We wanted to celebrate and reflect on not how our loved ones died on September 11th, but how they lived," said New York City Police Officer James Coughlin. Coughlin and his brother, Police Officer Brian Coughlin, organized the memorial concert. Although the brothers joked that they flew by the seat of their pants, they methodically organized a heart-wrenching event that would bring a tear to even the toughest Marine's eye.
One of the highlights of the show was the Marine Forces Reserve Band, New Orleans. "We want to thank New York for inviting us up for this event," said MGySgt. Gregory Aitch, MarForRes Bandmaster to the standing room only crowd. "It is an honor to play here and our thoughts and prayers go out to you and your families."

The crowd responded with a deafening standing ovation. The Marines continued their set, ending with the National Anthem as the audience provided the vocals. As the Marines left the stage they marched off playing a hymn that every Marine worldwide knows. "It wouldn't be a Marine band performance without that song," said Aitch.

The NYPD probably could have had any brass band to perform at this memorial, but they wanted the Marine Corps. "The Marines always display precision and they're crisp and clean," said Conlin. "They are always a crowd favorite."

After their performance the Marines headed to the audience to enjoy the other bands and singers performances. Other highlights were the NYPD's own Danny Rodriguez and pipe bands from Canada, Ireland, the United States and of course the Big Apple. It was world famous Irish Tenor, Ronan Tynan who ended the memorial with a stirring rendition of "God Bless America".

After the show the audience looked for the Marines to thank them for their service to the country and to tell them how much they enjoyed their performance but the band was gone. They had to catch a very early flight to perform other concerts and amaze other audiences with their razor sharp precision and music.