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National Memorial Day Concert: An American Tradition

Joe Mantegna and Gary Sinise host; concert features an all-star line-up and the National Symphony Orchestra

  • Christina Zeiders

Capitol Concerts

The National Memorial Day Concert will broadcast live from Washington, D.C. Sunday, May 29 at 8:00pm on WITF TV and the PBS Video app, with a replay at 9:30pm. The 90-minute event honors those currently serving, those who served, their families, and all those who have given their lives for our country.

The concert is hosted 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.

A more than three-decades-long tradition, this deeply moving and reverential night takes us back to the real meaning of the holiday through personal stories interwoven with musical performances by top stars with the National Symphony Orchestra. The 2022 National Memorial Day Concert will include the following segments:

  • General Colin Powell Remembrance: For over a quarter of a century, General Powell was an important part of the National Memorial Day Concert, speaking to the nation about the sacred meaning of Memorial Day, reminding us of the debt owed to those who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our freedoms, and calling on the nation to help and support those who served and their families.
  • Generations of Service: In tribute to the over 58,000 American lives lost in the Vietnam War and those who served during the Vietnam era, the concert will share the story of combat medic Francis Whitebird, a young warrior from a Lakota family with generations of military service.
  • Honoring Gold Star Families: We’ll share in Maj. General Mark Graham, USA (Ret.) and his wife Carol’s journey through grief and healing after they suffered the loss of their two sons, 2LT Jeff Graham and Senior ROTC Cadet Kevin Graham. Their journey shaped their decision to spend their lives helping others receive mental health and other critical support.
  • Women in WWII Tribute: Honor and remember the women who served the nation in uniform and on the home front in World War II in a tribute to these unsung heroes of the Greatest Generation.
  • Medal of Honor Tribute: Pay tribute to the heroism, sacrifice, and dedication of our Medal of Honor recipients – the nation’s highest award for valor in combat.
  • Lincoln Memorial 100th Anniversary: We’ll mark the 100th anniversary of the Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall, built in tribute to President Lincoln. His Gettysburg Address spoken in honor of those who gave their last full measure of devotion was foundational to the nation’s commemoration of Memorial Day.
Watch the National Memorial Day Concert Sunday, May 29 at 8:00pm and 9:30pm on WITF TV, the PBS Video app, or online. You can also stream it on-demand for free through the PBS Video app after its live broadcast through June 12, 2022.

The national night of remembrance also features performances by Lea Salonga (Miss Saigon, Mulan), Norm Lewis (Phantom of the Opera, Scandal), singer-songwriter and U.S. Army veteran Craig Morgan, Rhiannon Giddens, Broadway star Brian Stokes Mitchell, singer Pia Toscano, the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of top pops conductor Jack Everly, and annual audience favorite Salute to Services with the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Also taking part are members of 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 National Memorial Day Concert airs on WITF TV Sunday, May 29, 2022, at 8:00pm, with a replay at 9:30pm. You can also watch live through the PBS Video app and online, or stream it on-demand after its live broadcast through June 12, 2022.

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