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Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Comrades in Arms:

Look what WE missed out on!



Army News Service
Monday 28 September 2009

(Click on each photograph for a larger view.)

The cadence of drums and sounds of bagpipes filled the air as the British Army's twenty-one member Scots Guards Pipes and Drums Corps entered the Pentagon courtyard Friday 25 September 2009, to put on a lunchtime show as an expression of admiration by the United Kingdom to the United States of America, its closest ally. 

"These soldiers have been in the U.S. for the last month, performing the length and breadth of the United States," announced host, Lieutenant Colonel William Swinton of the British Army, to the large turnout of workers and families.

"They are here in Washington to play to you, our strongest allies and to show profound appreciation for the alliance we have with our American brothers and sisters in arms."

Made up of eight bagpipers, seven drummers and four sword dancers led by a drum major, the all male unit has the distinction of being the oldest infantry battalion in the British Army.

Colonel Swinton also told the crowd that the performers were all front line soldiers and not professional musicians.

They returned to Britain on Sunday 27 September 2009 to begin training for deployment to Helmand Province, Afghanistan in March where they will work alongside United States Marines.

Highlights to the performance included the playing of "God Bless America", the Scottish anthem, "Scotland the Brave", and a spirited traditional Highland sword dance.

Leader of the corps, drum major Sergeant Martin Godsman, said playing the Pentagon was an honor and pleasure, but added the tour has been hectic, playing five cities in Colorado, New Hampshire, New York, and the highland games festival in San Francisco, California.

"Reception by the American people has been fantastic, especially the highland games.

People see all the pipes and drums and then we're just mobbed," he said.

"They come up to us, shake our hands and thank us.

That's all we need."

This program was put on in the courtyard of the Pentagon, and I think we residents of the Armed Forces Retirement Home should have been invited there, don't you?

Thank you.

Official Bard of Clan Henderson
Washington, D.C.  20011-8400

NOTE: "My unpopular and controversial personal opinions are independent of my Scottish clan."

1 comment:

MacCoinneach said...

Iain, when are you going to write your Army and remind them that "Scotland the Brave" isn't the anthem of Scotland. Scotland, since it's not an official country, doesn't have an official anthem. But, as you're aware, since Scotland is part of the UKs, "God Bless Mrs. Battenburg" would be the official anthem of Scotland.

Unofficially, "Flower of Scotland" gets the nod from most Scots as first choice. ( )

Now, as to the Royal Scots, let's not forget that they fought against their own kin at both Falkirk and Culloden. They were part of the red-coated contingent that bayonetted the wounded that lay on Drumossie Muir.

Seems to me there's a big difference betwixt Royal Scots and loyal Scots, isn't there.

"...eight bagpipers (piping), seven drummers (drumming), four sword dancers (dancing), (alllll) led by a drum ma-ay-jor...

Sounds all Scottish Christmas carol-ly, doesn't it? Fair gives me goosebumps.