On the 150th anniversary of Memorial Day, PBS’ National Memorial Day Concert from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol hosted by Tony Award-winner Joe Mantegna and Emmy Award-winner Gary Sinise.
The concert will air live on PBS Sunday, May 27, 2018, from 8:00 to 9:30 p.m. before a concert audience of hundreds of thousands and millions more at home and to troops serving around the world via the American Forces Network.
This year’s program features:
- The story of two buddies – Joe Annello and Hiroshi “Hershey” Miyamura who helped each other survive deadly combat during the Korean War, endured the unimaginable as POWs, and became American heroes – one receiving the Silver Star and the other the Medal of Honor. Their segment will recognize Korean War Veterans with performances by Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG Award-nominated actor John Corbett and star of Chicago Med Brian Tee.
- Women have served our nation in times of war and peace since our country’s founding – even before they were officially allowed to enlist. To mark the 70th anniversary of the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act, the concert will pay tribute to the contributions of women in our military throughout history, including the story of Silver Star recipient Leigh Ann Hester, the first woman to receive the Silver Star for combat. The segment will conclude by honoring women representing generations of service since WWII from the 5 branches of the military on stage. Academy Award, Golden Globe and Emmy Award winning actress Allison Janney of The West Wing and Tony-nominated actress and star of TV’s Falling Water and The West Wing, Mary McCormack will participate.
- This year also marks the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Khe Sanh, one of the fiercest battles of the Vietnam War. The show will feature the story of Bill Rider, who was part of the battalion known as “The Walking Dead.” His story will focus on his return home to fight a different war…that of post-traumatic stress. As part of his healing process, Rider found a way to pay it forward by dedicating his life to helping generations of service men and women who have experienced the trauma of war. Bill’s story will be told by Academy Award-nominated actor Graham Greene of Dances with Wolves.
The 2018 National Memorial Day Concert all-star line-up also features: Gen. Colin L. Powell, musical performances by actor and country singer Charles Esten, Cynthia Erivo, Leona Lewis, Megan Hilty, Alfie, the Lt. Dan Band and the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of conductor Jack Everly. 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 and Army Voices, 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.
About the author: Capital Concerts is the nation’s leading producer of live patriotic television shows, including PBS’s highest-rated performance specials: National Memorial Day Concert and A Capitol Fourth, the premier celebrations of America’s most important holidays broadcast from the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. For more than 35 years, these two award-winning productions have become national traditions, bringing together Americans to celebrate freedom and democratic ideals and to pay tribute to those who defend them.