Car Alarms: The Sound of Freedom


This is not my YouTube video, but through this video you get the key background information for this blog post.  Interestingly enough, there are no car alarms going off in that video (recorded a few years ago).

The video shows the Retreat ceremony conducted at Fort Sill daily at 1700 hours (5pm).  The first bugle call in the video is part of bugle call “Retreat.”


Click the musical score above to go to the page where you can play a crisp audio file of the full version of “Retreat.”

It is said that the origins of the “Retreat” bugle call are French, and may well date back to the Crusades.  From “Retreat” to daybreak, sentries would challenge those seeking to make entry into the camp.

Following the cannon, the bugle sound is “To the Color.”  At this point, military personnel render the salute and civilians remove their San Diego Padres baseball caps and place it over their heart.   We hold this salute until the last note of “To the Color” is played.

To the Color
To the Color

As with “Retreat,” click the musical score to go to the site to hear a crisp .mp3 audio of “To the Color.”

At Fort Sill, the flag is lowered for “To the Color,” but is immediately hoisted up again.  The national flag flies throughout the night hours with the proper spot light upon it (as the Flag Code says:  “(T)he flag may be displayed 24 hours a day if properly illuminated during hours of darkness”).

In a Time magazine piece dating back a number of years (2010), the sound of car alarms was listed as one of the top 10 most annoying sounds.  Car Alarms came in at #5 in that ranking.  While any other time, those alarms are indeed very annoying (particularly when the owner is not present to turn them off).

At 1700 hours, on Fort Sill, Oklahoma, those car alarms are not annoying.  They are the sound of freedom.

Although the above video did not record the sound of car alarms….the cannon blast causes several of them to go off every day in the Snow Hall parking lot on Fort Sill (just behind from where the video seems to be recorded).  OK, the cannon blast is really the sound of freedom…..aided by the inspiring bugle call…..but the sound of car alarms doing their thing are at least the response to the sound of freedom.

The question for each of us is this:  What is our response to the sound of freedom?




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