I was honestly very surprised, humbled and extremely honored to be the newest recipient of the Corpus Christi Fire Department’s Community Service Award which was presented to me yesterday by Chief Rocha. No doubt about it, the event was very overwhelming. Words can’t express how enjoyable it is for me to share the bagpipes with others. Piping is something l absolutely love to do and being honored for it was incredible. Usually when I am in the news I tell people it must have been a slow news day but this was different. Since I know there are no slow days in the Fire Department I was moved to see so many of my colleagues who took time away from their busy schedules to attend the ceremony. And as if receiving the CCFD community service award wasn’t enough, I was further honored by the Patriot Guard and TSA agents who recognized me for the work I’ve done with them. These individuals are no strangers to service and dedication and it’s truly been my honor to serve alongside them. Suffice it to say, yesterday was a very special day that I won’t soon forget.
This past week I had an incredible experience I want to share. As a Fire Department bagpiper I was asked to play at ALIVE! With Purpose at the Omni Bayfront. I had no clue what it was about and was completely stunned to hear Mr. Steve Scheibner, an American Airlines pilot, give his faith testimony entitled, “In My Seat”. Steve was scheduled to pilot Flight 11 from Boston to Los Angeles the morning of September 11, 2001. American Airlines Flight 11 was the first plane to hit the World Trade Center. His story is one of heartache and inspiration, and how the events of 9-11, coupled with his deep belief in God and faith in Christ has led him to live with a heightened life purpose.
At the conclusion of his talk, I was so moved that I spontaneously changed what I was going to play from a slow aire to “Here I Am Lord” followed by their originally requested “Amazing Grace”. For all purposes, Steve Scheibner should have died in that plane attack, but he now lives to show us all that we are living on borrowed time and the importance of using the time we have for in this life for God’s purpose. BTW, this event was well attended by many of our community leaders…that was a good thing to see.
Here is the YouTube video about his experience.
It was a very special honor for me yesterday, playing the pipes at the memorial service of Deputy K-9 MIRZA, a hard-working Belgian Malinois who had served Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office as a narcotics/patrol K-9 since 1995. Only three days prior to her death, Mirza was “retired” from the force due to age and set to live the rest of her life with her long-time partner, Investigator Steve De La Cruz. Mirza leaves behind quite an accomplished career. It was very evident that Mirza was tremendously loved and respected by the community.
Dan had a special request from a 2nd grader at Windsor Park Elementary School to help her give a presentation on Scotland and the highland bagpipes to her classmates who were studying different cultures and countries throughout the globe.
© All photos by George Gongora, Corpus Christi Caller Times.