WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - North Carolinians are proud of our country, and of the men and women who serve or have served.
WECT 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, performed by 9-year-old Reina Ozbay.
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.
WECT will air the national anthem starting June 18 shortly before 4 a.m. each day, which signifies the switch to a new broadcast day.