Metzen, Atkins Sponsor Official State Pipe Band Bill
The Minnesota State Fire Service Memorial Pipe Band plays bagpipes at ceremonies and funerals throughout the state.
Sen. Jim Metzen (D-South St. Paul) and Rep. Joe Atkins (D-Inver Grove Heights) want to designate The Minnesota State Fire Service Memorial Pipe Band as the official Minnesota fire service memorial pipe band.
The bill is one of the lighter endeavors this session, but the band carries a mission of gravitas, playing bagpipes for free at the funerals of veterans and firefighters, community events and ceremonies.
In a statement earlier this month, Atkins explained that he discovered two Inver Grove Heights residents play in the band, alerting him to their mission.
"In those times of tragedy, we sometimes feel powerless. But little acts of kindness and support matter, and I’m glad to see another group doing what they can to help."
"It's a big deal," said Metzen, who said he was surprised by the group's impact.
It's not so easy to get an official state symbol recognized. While a Minnesota state muffin, photograph and gemstone have all been named, efforts of varying degrees of seriousness have failed to successfully name a state candy, amusement ride, mammal or beer, to name a few.
The pipe band bill has advanced out of committee in the House, and has yet to receive a hearing in the Senate.