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On Saturday, 06 May 2006 the North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Foundation held the inaugural ceremony dedicating a new fallen firefighter’s memorial; honoring firefighters from across the Old North State who sacrificed their lives serving others.

On that day — local firefighters Joe Harwell, Mike Bishop, Lloyd Johnson, Jason Lane (among others) were in attendance — watching the march from the sidelines. Until that day the Wake County region had rarely seen the pipes and drums at a fire service — event except on TV or in the movies.

The march was led by the Charlotte Fire Department Pipe Band along with a local guest piper — Joe Brady. Throughout the day Mike, Lloyd and Jason “hemmed Joe up” about the bagpipes.

2007 NCFFF Memorial March
2006 NCFFF Memorial March with the Charlotte Fire Department Pipes and Drums

About 2 months later a group of like minded folks got together and held a  meeting about forming a public safety pipe band serving Wake County and the surrounding region; Wake and District was born. Ten years later — changing uniforms, changing members, changing tunes — never missing a year.

From our Drum Major — Jason Lane:  I know May is one heck of a month and we all have families outside the band — I just want to say thanks to all my brothers and sisters who put in all the hard work practicing and playing events.  Events like the NCFFF march and memorial are long and can be trying — I am very proud of our band and what we do.  

31 people on deck today with 18 pipers, 12 drummers and my ugly self, we looked good and sounded good. Today was a first for some of our members and the fourth, fifth and tenth for others.” I cannot thank you enough” were the words from the families, honor guards and firefighters who thanked me after it was over. So please have a great rest of the weekend and I do love you all.  As I told Joe years back standing on the same streets —

Today is not about you,
it’s not about me,
it’s not about us,
it is about the families  —
Those sitting in chairs holding flags.
That is who we are here for.
–  Jason Lane

Over the past 9 years Wake and District has seen tremendous growth which has been exhausting at times, yet remains fulfilling.  Little did we know where this chance encounter would lead us — year after year — AMAZING people on a journey of sorts — doing the right things for the right reasons — remaining true to our mission.  FOR OUR FALLEN remains everything we stand for.  God Bless our band family.

#ForOurFallen  #RightThings  #RightReasons #NoExcuses




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