WARREN -- Don't let the kilts fool you. The members of the Celtic Flame Pipe Band are Americans.
Saturday, the band will honor America by marching in "The Valley's Tribute to American Heroes: A Red, White and Blue Parade." The parade, which is presented by The Vindicator and WFMJ TV 21, will start at 10 a.m. on Market Street at Nisonger Drive and end at the Boardman Township Administration Building.
"We're Americans too; we really want to be out there showing support for America," said Marilyn Lloyd, the band's pipe major. "We want the people, as we march by, to remember all the heroes."
Lloyd said the band will have about 17 pipers and seven drummers in the parade. A flag line carrying the flags of Celtic nations will follow the band, which is based in Warren.
The band was formed in the mid-1990s when local bagpipers began to look for others who shared their affinity for the instrument. Lloyd added that many of the band's members have Scottish, Welsh or Irish heritage and are trying to keep that heritage alive in their families.
There are different theories as to the origin of the bagpipes. Some historians feel the instrument was first used in ancient Rome and later brought to the Celtic countries, Lloyd said. Scottish, Irish and Welsh clans used them as a call to war or to communicate over long distance. Today, she noted, they are often played at the funerals of police officers and firefighters.
"Pipes are always associated with heroes," she said.