MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - WSFA 12 News will soon join with our sister Gray Television stations across the nation to end each broadcast day by playing the national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
WSFA 12 News will air the national anthem shortly before 4 a.m. each day, which signifies the switch to a new broadcast day.
“I am thrilled that WSFA is joining all of the Gray Television Stations across this country for but one minute and forty five seconds to honor this great country of ours,” said WSFA 12 News Vice President and General Manager Mark Bunting. “Whether one sees it as a fitting way to end the day or a great way to start the next, playing this version of the national anthem so beautifully sung is a perfect way to pay tribute to the greatest country in the world. God Bless America!”
Up until television stations went to 24-hour operations in the 1980s, playing the anthem was traditionally how American television stations went off the air and returned back to the airwaves the following morning.
Inspired by the American flag flying over Fort McHenry the morning after a bombardment, Francis Scott Key wrote the initial verse of the anthem on the back of a letter. He later completed the four verses which a Baltimore newspaper first published, according to the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.
A 9-year-old from South Florida named Reina Özbay is the singer in the video.