Lt. Dan Band plays for Navy Yard victims

The man many people know as Lt. Dan from the movie "Forrest Gump" was in D.C. Tuesday night for a special reason.

WASHINGTON – The man many people know as Lt. Dan from the movie “Forrest Gump” was in D.C. Tuesday night for a special reason.

Actor and musician Gary Sinise and the rest of the Lt. Dan Band put on a free USO concert for those affected by the deadly mass shooting at the Navy Yard on Sept. 16.

The concert was open to D.C. area service men and women, Department of the Navy civilian employees, contractors and their families.

“Having been around the military community for a long time now, and having veterans in my family, I just feel very, very passionate about trying to make sure that they know that they’re not forgotten,” Sinise said before the concert.

“What we’re doing here tonight is just trying to give everybody an opportunity to just take a breath, have some joy, and bring this community together around everybody so that they can share some of that joy with each other and help each other through that,” he added.

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus thanked Sinise for making the concert happen.

“He reached out to us. We didn’t have to ask him. He said I want to come do this, to let the people who were involved in the horrific events at the Washington Navy Yard know that they’re not alone, and know that we remember. And that’s important.”

Mabus also thanked employees at the Navy Yard for returning to work so soon after the tragedy.

“A couple of days after that horrible event, literally thousands of people were back at work, doing the work of the Navy, doing the work of the nation. We literally would not have a fleet to put to sea without the people represented in this room tonight.”

“In the words of a fellow Mississippian, William Faulkner: We will not just survive. We will prevail.”

Mabus introduced the band, and the first song the band played was a cover of Earth Wind & Fire’s “September.”

The opening act was New York City’s “Singing Policeman” Daniel Rodriguez.

The show had the audience up on their feet, cheering and clapping along.

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