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BY TEQUILA MINSKY
Hundreds of bagpipers in their plaid tartan gathered at Zuccoti park on Sept. 9, before getting into formation for the 9/11 commemorative walk down Broadway around Battery Place, ending at the NYC Police Memorial at the northern end of South End Avenue.
The procession marked the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attack at the World Trade Center, particularly paying homage to the 23 NYPD officers killed that day and the more than 99 officers who have died since of illnesses linked to their exposure to toxic fumes and dust while working at Ground Zero.
Retiring NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton, Chief of Department James O’Neill, and Public Advocate Letitia James were among the city officials who walked at the head of the somber parade with the NYPD Emerald Society Pipes & Drums leading the musical procession.
Tourists, office workers and other city denizens lined the route for the polyphonic scene and students from Battery Park City School cheered the musicians as they passed by.
The marchers continued to the memorial wall that is engraved with the names of the NYPD officers who have died in the line of duty, where they ended with a ceremony honoring the fallen.
The parade included 16 bands, historical police cars, and family members who walked the route to the memorial ceremony with bagpipers hailing from police departments of several East Coast cities and from as far away as Chicago and Toronto.
Memorial wreaths were placed at the wall and Police Commissioner Bratton, Mayor de Blasio, and PBA president Patrick Lynch were among the speakers at the ceremony.