MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -- WMTV NBC15 is bringing back an old tradition—the playing of the national anthem as we switch from one broadcast day to another.
“The Star-Spangled Banner” is sung by 9-year-old Reina Özbay and will air daily on WMTV at 3:58 a.m.
While she now calls Florida home, the young performer has ties to Wisconsin-- she was born in Milwaukee on July third.
Her mother recalls, "The evening she was born, there was a massive fireworks display outside of the hospital window on the Milwaukee lakefront -- because they always did the big one on the 3rd, so it's fun that she's singing this song."
WATCH Reina’s rendition of the anthem just as it will air every day in the video box above.
Reina’s father went to Milwaukee School of Engineering, and her mother attended Marquette University.
"Reina knows Parkland, Florida, as her home, but periodically goes with me to Milwaukee to visit friends. She attended the daycare at Kohl's corporate offices in Wisconsin the first year of her life," her mother says.
Özbay has inspired crowds since she was four. She is classically trained and studies opera and musical theater. She landed her first guest-starring role at the age of nine as Abigail in "The Chosen," the number one crowdfunded film/TV project in history. When not performing, Özbay enjoys tennis, swimming, bike riding and drawing.
WMTV and sister stations in 93 markets nationwide are airing the anthem. Local viewers will also see the anthem on CW Madison (15.2) and Antenna TV (15.3). Gray Media Group’s Executive Chairman and CEO Hilton Howell announced the initiative earlier this month at the company's annual meeting of news directors.
For decades, until television stations began 24-hour programming, the national anthem was played right before stations went off the air, and again the following morning when programming resumed.