On April 11, 1998, my good friend Lt. Jaye Toye died while fighting a brush fire at his home in North Andover. He was assisting the North Andover Fire Department when he suffered a heart attack. There were four of us on the L.F.D. who grew up and hung around together. Jaye, Ray Kenyon Jr., Jim Gaffney Jr., and myself. Jaye was a marine who served in Vietnam with Echo Company, 2nd Battalion, 26th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division at Khe Sahn.
On the day that Jaye was buried, Ray, Jim and myself served as pallbearers along with three other friends on the L.F.D. I was supposed to sing "The Fireman's Prayer" at the funeral, which I had written the music for and sung at other firefighters' funerals and memorial services. I wasn't sure how I was going to get through that or even if I would be able to sing at all, having been so close to Jaye. All I remember is stepping out of the limo and hearing "the Marine Corp Hymn" and "Amazing Grace" on the pipes. I then knew I could do it. I knew that Jaye was there to help me out. It was also then that Ray Kenyon decided to learn to play the pipers. Ray is now a piper with the Brigade. This song is performed by members of both groups for this project