The National Memorial Day concert will return as a live performance on May 29, with plans to pay tribute to General Colin Powell and to commemorate the Gold Star family and those who lost their lives in the Vietnam War.
The 90-minute broadcast will again be hosted by Joe Montagna and Gary Sinis and will again feature a lineup of musical performances with the tribute segment. It will air on PBS and will start at 8 PM ET on YouTube.
Dennis Hessbert will appear to pay tribute to Powell, who regularly spoke at previous concerts. Powell, a former secretary of state and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, died last year.
Gill will attend the Birmingham Generations of Service, paying tribute to the 58,000 lives lost in the Vietnam War and to those who worked in that era. The stories that will be shown include Francis Whitebird, who has made two trips to Vietnam and received a purple heart. Whitebird’s Lakota family has had several generations of military service, including an uncle who fought in World War I, his father who was a Lakota Code Ticker in World War II, and two sons who served in the Iraq war.
Jean Smart and Mantegna will honor the Gold Star family, with Ret’s story. Major General Mark Graham and his wife Carol, who lost their two sons eight months apart. Second Lieutenant Jeff Graham was killed in an IED blast in Iraq, and senior ROTC cadet Kevin Graham lost the battle with depression.
Also, Mary McCormack will be appearing in a section honoring women in World War II, and will be paying tribute to the recipients of the Sinus Medal of Honor. Sinis will also attend a section to mark the 100th anniversary of the Lincoln Memorial, which was dedicated a century ago this month.
The concert will return to its live format depending on the performances taped over the past two years due to the Kovid epidemic.
The concert will also feature performances by Leah Salanga, Norm Lewis, Craig Morgan, Ryan Gidens, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Pia Toscano and the National Symphony Orchestra, directed by Jack Everly. Will also appear Members of the U.S. Army Herald Trumpets, U.S. Army Chorus, U.S. Army Field Band Soldiers Chorus, U.S. Navy Band Sea Chanters, U.S. Air Force Singing Sergeants, Armed Forces Color Guard, and Service Color Team
The program is co-produced by Michael Colbert of Capital Concert in Washington, DC and WETA-TV.