HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – The COVID-19 pandemic cancelled just about every fallen officer’s memorial during Police Week. One man was committed to showing his respect for those officers who paid the ultimate sacrifice, whether there was a crowd or not. A video of him is making the rounds on social media catching the attention of the family of those fallen officers.
Michael White says the sound of bagpipes playing Amazing Grace is one of the most recognizable sounds.
“There’s an old Scottish saying if you have a bagpipe at the funeral of a loved one, whenever you hear a pipe again you’ll remember them,” White said.
During Police Week, White typically plays his rendition of the popular ballad with a crowd of people also paying their respects. This year, however, the service was cancelled, but White felt it was his duty to still be there pipes in hand.
“I play it as a prayer and you don’t have to have other people around to pray,” White said.
Little did he know, when he stepped out in front of the memorial, there was a Garland County Deputy just over his shoulder capturing his powerful tribute.
“Other than the shift change I thought oh they came out and sort of waved and appreciated it but I didn’t think anybody else saw it,” White said.
What wasn’t shown in the cellphone video was the list of names that are the reason for the song.
“Giving it all in the line of duty, in service is a big deal,” White said.
As the video made its way around social media, it landed on the page of Rachel Scrimshire, who’s husband’s plaque still needs to be added.
“For that man to take time out of his day and stand in solitude and just pay tribute to our fallen officers really means a lot to me,” White said.
Rachel’s other half, Brent Scrimshire was killed in the line of duty in March. The sound of the bagpipes reminded her of her late husband’s commitment to his community.
“They played the bagpipes at Brent’s funeral and that really hit home,” Scrimshire said.
It all goes back to that old Scottish saying. This man and his bagpipe served as a reminder for this widow, that her husband’s ultimate sacrifice will never be forgotten, even by strangers like Michael White.
”It’s moments like that and people like him that remind me there’s still good people in the world,” Scrimshire said.
The Hot Springs Police Department and Garland County Sheriff’s Office Fraternal Order of Police Lodges are inthe process of building a new monument. They are hoping to have the new one in place by October. That one will have Officer Scrimshire’s name next to the other fallen officers.