JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - This week, WLBT returned to what was once a daily tradition on TV and radio stations across the country when the Star Spangled Banner played at sign-off of the broadcast day. Stations across the country owned by Gray Television, WLBT’s parent company, will air the anthem when the station’s broadcast day concludes. WLBT will air the anthem, performed by the impressively talented nine-year old Reina Özbay, just before our 5 a.m. news weekdays and before our 6 a.m. news on weekends.
When we made this announcement earlier this week, the comments on Facebook ran the gamut. Many people were appreciative and supportive, some were critical, some called it a publicity stunt and others said so what, it won’t make any difference. Well… the truth is, we’re doing it because we think it is the right thing to do.
Ironically, one of the primary reasons we all have the right to express our opinions, to protest, to complain, to kneel, to march, to celebrate, to salute, to cheer, is because we live in America. It’s because of the men and women who fought and died to defend our freedom, it’s because of our founding fathers who established our constitution and Bill of Rights; that’s why we have the freedoms we are blessed with today. Let’s not forget, in some countries if you express your opinion, you’ll end up in jail or dead.
So, we will play the national anthem every morning to show our appreciation to the people who defend our freedom and to be thankful we call America home.