As the sun went down over Wylie Thursday night, the sound of bagpipes echoed through the air.
For the third week, Wylie Fire-Rescue’s band joined in a nationwide movement, called Sunset Solidarity, challenging bagpipers to play a song at the end of each day.
In Old City Park at the end of a downtown strip quieted by “shelter in place” orders, those who passed stopped to take in the tune.
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“You feel very much at that moment that you’re making impact for somebody and giving them some kind of hope,” said Captain Andrew Johnson.
Johnson, who plays the tenor drum, said the first mention he saw of Sunset Solidarity came from a teenager in Colorado.
“It caught on and it’s gone all across the nation, and there are pipe bands all across the country coming out and doing the exact same thing we’re doing,” said Johnson.
On Facebook, the department shared:
Historically, the Great Highland Bagpipes have been played at sunset during times of struggle or distress to help instill courage where courage struggles to exist. During the COVID-19 pandemic, pipers around the world are playing to encourage strength and resolve in the people around us.
Johnson said initially piper Robert Nishiyama was playing alone for neighbors in his driveway.
When the band found out, they decided to join once a week to amplify his message.
He said they’ll continue to play until the epidemic comes to an end.