COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KDVR) — It is an ancient musical instrument that sounds better outside than indoors. And that is where you will find this member of the Colorado Army National Guard, who loves to play the bagpipes.
Even when Master Sgt. Jim DeGeorge is at work at the Colorado Army National Guard, chances are he is thinking about his pipes. DeGeorge has been playing the pipes for about 10 years now, and it all started with his love of history.
“I do. I do, I am absolutely passionate about history. I have grown up studying history. I grew up doing Civil War reenactment back in Illinois,” DeGeorge said.
Nowadays, DeGeorge plays at parades, military banquets and even weddings. But the one time playing his pipes has more meaning than anything else is at a veteran’s funeral. DeGeorge sometimes has to keep his emotions in check.
“You stow it. You get through it, because it’s not about you, it’s about them. And then I will deal with the emotions later,” DeGeorge said.
DeGeorge honors veterans here in Colorado to provide a certain comfort to the listener, the family, even when there is no family at the veteran’s graveside.
“It’s the sound. It’s the harmonizing of the drones. It’s that scrill when the tune comes in. It’s something that you just don’t find with any other instrument,” DeGeorge said.
Probably the most recognizable melody DeGeorge plays is “Amazing Grace,” echoing through the hills and memories of the listener, touching the soul like nothing else.