National Memorial Day Concert honors military heroes

WASHINGTON — Memorial Day would not be complete without D.C.’s annual National Concert.

The 29th annual National Memorial Day Concert took place Sunday at 8 p.m. on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol.

The star-studded event honors the nation’s military heroes.

Celebrity hosts were Joe Mantegna, an actor on the popular show “Criminal Minds,” and Emmy Award-winning actor Gary Sinise. Mantegna has emceed the concert since 2002. Find out how he recruited Sinise to be his frequent co-host.

Other celebrities who joined the event are Allison Janney, John Corbett, Leona Lewis and more. Below is the complete list:

  • Joe Mantegna
  • Gary Sinise
  • Allison Janney
  • Gen. Colin Powell
  • Charles Esten
  • Spensha Baker
  • Graham Greene
  • Mary McCormack
  • The Lt. Dan Band
  • John Corbett
  • Leona Lewiss
  • Brian Tee
  • Megan Hilty
  • Alfie Boe
  • Cynthia Erivo
  • Jack Everly
  • National Symphony Orchestra
  • Military District of Washington
  • U.S. Army Herald Trumpets
  • U.S. Army Chorus and Army Voices
  • U.S. Navy Band Sea Chanters
  • U.S. Air Force Singing Sergeants
  • Soldier’s Chorus

Local actor and singer Charles Esten, of Alexandria, Virginia, also be performed this year.

Executive Producer Michael Colbert said the national night of remembrance takes us back to the real meaning of Memorial Day.

“I hope that (concertgoers]) stop and think about those who — everyday is Memorial Day for them, the families of those who lost someone,” Colbert said.

Colbert has been part of the annual concert since its start 29 years ago.

He said he is still humbled by being able to honor all of our military and “to come together here at the Capitol and honor those who are serving, who have served — to remember our wounded, to remember all of their families and to really stop and say ‘thank you’ and ‘we love you.'”

The mission of the concert is to come together as a nation and to remember, Colbert said.

The 29th annual concert will mark the 150th anniversary of Memorial Day. Memorial Day had been first known at “Decoration Day” and was commemorated at Arlington National Cemetery.

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