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Area first responders to perform special duty at fallen firefighter's funeral

Dave Sunderman
Posted at 4:36 PM, Jan 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-10 18:21:48-05

KANSAS CITY, Kan.  — First responders from across the region will perform a special duty for fallen firefighter Chuck McCormick's funeral service.

McCormick died Sunday while fighting a fire at a house on Deer Run Road in Peculiar.

Being a Kansas City, Kansas, firefighter is Dave Sunderman's main job, but on Saturday he will fill an even more important role.

Sunderman is part of the 22-person pipes and drum band which will honor fallen West Peculiar firefighter Chuck McCormick as he's laid to rest.

"It can be very difficult at times. You definitely have to put your mind somewhere else during the ceremony or while you're playing and then later you can reflect on that night," Sunderman said.

Sunderman said he learned to play the bagpipes 10 years ago and has been part of the KCK Fire Department's Honor Guard ever since. While he loves the sound, Sunderman said it's the meaning behind the music that got him started.

"It brings everybody in and it allows you to be emotional and it releases that emotion that everybody's been holding in for the whole day, so it's really a special thing," Sunderman said.

Sunderman said it's more than just a hobby. He said it's his duty to fulfill a tradition that goes back more than 170 years.

"You can feel it in your heart and typically I get goosebumps," Sunderman said.