Marine’s Hymn will play for Eastbound Drivers
The City of Palmdale will celebrate the grand opening of a musical road today at 11:10 a.m. at the northwest corner of Sierra Highway and Ave. N, commonly known as BJ’s Corner. The 2,500-foot-long musical road is located on the eastbound side of R. Lee Ermey Ave. (Ave. N) between Amargosa Wash and Division St. The road will “play” 30 seconds of the Marine’s Hymn by driving over the grooved pavement at 45 mph.
The location was selected to honor R. Lee “Gunny” Ermey, who was not only a decorated Marine but also a tireless humanitarian. An actor, patriot, humanitarian, and, most importantly, a family man, Ermey honorably served in the United States Marine Corps from 1961 through 1972. Until his passing on April 12, 2018, he was diligently supporting his country and Marines at events and appearances. Gunny is the only Marine to have been brought out of retirement and promoted. In 2002, Marine Corps Commandant James L. Jones promoted Ermey to E-7, Gunnery Sergeant, the rank he portrayed in the movie “Full Metal Jacket.”
“We are excited to see this project reach completion in time to celebrate the Marine Corps 248th Birthday,” said Palmdale Mayor Laura Bettencourt. “The musical road has always been a part of the plan to honor R. Lee Ermey and all veterans. We are excited and proud that it is open for everyone to enjoy. Every time someone drives this section of road, it will serve as a tribute to him, his beloved Marine Corps, and all those who serve.”
The cities of Palmdale and Lancaster, as well as the County of Los Angeles and Caltrans, unanimously decided in 2018 to create a permanent tribute to Gunny by renaming Ave. N, a major east/west roadway, R. Lee Ermey Ave. He and his family lived just off Ave. N for 24 years.
This project aims to promote tourism in the Antelope Valley by providing a fun destination for people to experience. The musical road was installed by San Bar Construction, one of only two vendors in the U.S. that specializes in engineering the intermittent grooves, similar to rumble strips on roadways, that will play music.