Huntsville Fire and Rescue pipe major named honorary firefighter

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - September 11 is a day to remember and honor. The Huntsville Police Department and Huntsville Fire and Rescue came together to honor the day by holding a 9/11 ceremony at Huntsville Fire Station One.

While many ceremonies were held across the state, this one was different.

Chief Mac McFarlen with Huntsville Fire and Rescue says Huntsville is the only department in Alabama with a Pipes and Drums Band. The man who started it all, Roque Haines was given an "honorary firefighter" badge before the 9/11 ceremony was held.

Haines says it was a huge surprise.

"I never expected that," says Haines. "I'm just glad to help out and donate my time."

McFarlen says Haines has worked hundreds of hours with the band as a group and individually, and the group spent one year practicing. Haines and McFarlen say they are both impressed with the men because they went from not being able to read music, to being able to play bagpipes within one year.

The bagpipes the group used during the 9/11 ceremony were special instruments honoring 9/11 firefighters. Only 343 of the pipes will be made to honor the 343 fallen firefighter on September 11, 2001.

Huntsville Fire and Rescue has bagpipes numbers 11, 12 and 13.

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