PBS’s NATIONAL MEMORIAL DAY CONCERT, the iconic event that has become a national tradition, will mark its 25th anniversary with a special tribute to our men and women in uniform, their families at home and all those who have given their lives for our country.
Live from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, the inspiring night of remembrance will offer veterans from Afghanistan the grateful thanks of our nation, commemorate the 70th anniversary of World War II’s D-Day invasion on the beaches of Normandy, and look back at the stories of service and sacrifice featured throughout the years during the annual concert.
The NATIONAL MEMORIAL DAY CONCERT will be co-hosted for the ninth year by Tony Award-winner Joe Mantegna and Emmy Award-winner Gary Sinise, acclaimed actors who have dedicated themselves to veterans’ causes and supporting our troops in active service. They will be joined by an all-star line-up including: distinguished American leader Colin Powell USA (Ret.); two-time Academy and Emmy Award-winning actress Dianne Wiest; country music sensation and THE VOICE 2013 winner Danielle Bradbery; Broadway and television star Megan Hilty; musical prodigy and classical crossover star Jackie Evancho; Grammy Award-winning music and television legend Doc Severinsen; and world-renowned tenor Anthony Kearns; in performance with the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of top pops conductor Jack Everly (additional artists to be announced). The multi award-winning program airs on PBS Sunday, May 25, 2014, from 8:00 to 9:30 p.m., before a concert audience of hundreds of thousands, millions more at home, as well as to our troops serving around the world on the American Forces Network.
The 2014 NATIONAL MEMORIAL DAY CONCERT will feature the following segments:
• As the war in Afghanistan winds down, the program will recognize our service men and women with a special “Welcome Home” to thank veterans who served in Afghanistan, including a musical salute and featuring:
A story about a critically wounded veteran suffering from severe physical injuries and the grave invisible wounds of war.
The story of a mother coping with grief after the death of her son, the first to die in Afghanistan. His service inspired her to become actively involved with Gold Star Mothers. Now she is helping other mothers with their loss, grief and healing as they move forward with their lives.
• The 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion of the Normandy beaches of France will be commemorated in 2014, a seminal moment that turned the tides of war in favor of the Allies. World War II veterans who participated in the D-Day invasion will be honored and featured in this tribute to the sacrifices of our nation’s Greatest Generation.
• The NATIONAL MEMORIAL DAY CONCERT will mark its 25th anniversary in 2014 with a reflection of the many stories of service and sacrifice featured throughout the years that have brought us together as one family of Americans to pay tribute to those who defend our freedom.
Also participating in the event are the U.S Joint Chiefs of Staff with The U.S. Army Herald Trumpets, The U.S. Army Chorus, The Soldiers Chorus of the U.S. Army Field Band, The U.S. Navy Band Sea Chanters, The U.S. Air Force Singing Sergeants, the Armed Forces Color Guard and Service Color Teams provided by the Military District of Washington, D.C.
The program is a co-production of Jerry Colbert of Capital Concerts and WETA, Washington, D.C. Executive producer Jerry Colbert and producer Michael Colbert have assembled an award-winning production team that features the top Hollywood talent behind some of television’s most prestigious entertainment awards shows. The team includes: Emmy award-winning producer Walter C. Miller, whose credits include the GRAMMY AWARDS and COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS; and award-winning director Paul Miller whose credits include THE COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS and SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE.