Parish Engineer Performs Stunning 9/11 Tribute

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

Ascension Parish Chief Engineer Bob Horner is shown performing his original song, “Perseverance,” on bagpipes Thursday morning in front of the Donaldsonville Courthouse in honor of the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C. The Donaldsonville performance followed unannounced performances at the Parish President’s Office in Gonzales and the Ascension Parish Courthouse on Irma Boulevard. Horner caught parish employees at the Parish President’s Office by surprise when they heard bagpipes playing but were unable to tell where the music was coming from. As the employees quietly exited the building, Horner stood at attention in the empty parking lot in a bag piper’s uniform. His playing set the mood for somber reflection about the events of 9/11. Horner said he and his former bagpipe band, the 23rd Highlanders of Destin, Fla., traveled to New York and played with the New York City Fire Department in April of 2002. Since then, he has made the performance a yearly effort to remember those that died and to recognize that flags are flown at half-staff. Horner said he wrote “Perseverance” after being inspired about the challenges of 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina. “The way the tune is structured is at first it’s very chaotic, which is kind of the way we respond to crises,” Horner said. “But then as the tune goes along, and as we get our bearings, Americans get their feet under them and things start getting more rhythmic, more patterned and things start getting done. That’s my feeling when I do this on 9/11. We are in the rhythm of getting things done and we will persevere, and we will prevail.