SANTA MONICA (CBSLA) — Each night since stay-at-home orders began, a Santa Monica bagpiper has been playing “Amazing Grace” from the Palisades bluff to honor all those who’ve died from coronavirus.
The hymn, first penned as a poem by English clergyman John Newton in 1772, is a known tear-jerker.
Andrew McGregor walks from his Santa Monica apartment to a private location around sunset daily, facing the ocean, to play the song of love and loss.
“You have running water and electricity and a roof over your head, but there’s still this knowledge that we are not going back to the way things were,” McGregor said.
It has become almost like a ritual for neighbors to listen nightly from their balconies or the street.
“It is just so special and heartwarming,” said Lisa Lipman. “Feels like there’s life again.”
The Santa Monica Fire Department has also stopped by to listen, give a round of applause and flash their lights in recognition of McGregor’s efforts.
“When we are stuck and we can’t move, for me this is a way of bringing solace and healing and support for the community,” McGregor said. “We are in a very difficult time and people need healing and hope.”