The US Navy’s Seal Beach Naval Weapons Station received a mixed amount of support and backlash from fellow Orange County locals after serially blasting the “Star-Spangled Banner” over its speakers at the start of the day and a recording of “Retreat” to signal the day’s end at sunset.
“We’re using a different sound system than we did previously,” Naval Weapons Station Public Affairs Officer Gregg Smith told the Orange County Register (OCR). “This one not only has bigger speakers – it has more speakers.”
Residents within a five-mile radius reported hearing the patriotic tunes emitting from the naval base. According to the facility, the “Star-Spangled Banner” has always been played at 8 a.m. during the flag raising for the day, however, its usual, smaller sound system is indefinitely out of commission due to its age.
Some confused locals first assumed the June 15 recordings were a late celebration of Flag Day, which occurred the day before, but those wishful thinkers had their hopes dashed when the tunes greeted them in the morning and evening on both Sunday and Monday.
Frustrated, residents took to the neighborhood social media application Nextdoor, according to the OCR.
“Good neighbors don’t play their favorite music, or ANY music, that loud at 8 a.m.,” OCR reports one man complained on the app, while a woman asked for consideration, saying that “some of us work really late and don’t get to go to bed until 4 a.m.”
Not all those within range of the base hated the sounds. In fact, some want the “patriotism” to continue.
“I love it. Let’s all call the base and tell them how much Seal Beach wants them to keep it going,” an unnamed woman posted on Nextdoor.
Another man proudly noted that his wife now goes out to get the paper and “stands at attention during the ‘Star-Spangled Banner.’”
Despite the lovers of the wake-up call, it would seem those opposed ultimately won over Navy officials.
“At this point,” Smith informed the OCR Wednesday, “we are trying to set the system at a decent volume that does not wake up our neighbors.”