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National Memorial Day Concert

National Memorial Day Concert

Photo Credit:  PBS
  • Premiered: 
    May 27, 1990
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: PBS
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Special, Annual
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
  • Subject Matter: Holiday
  • Tags: Memorial Day

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Plot Synopsis

Held annually since 1990 on the eve of Memorial Day, the NATIONAL MEMORIAL DAY CONCERT is a free event on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol that honors America's military personnel, their families and all those who have given their lives for our country. Each event features music from the National Symphony Orchestra, with special performances by music superstars. The event aired live each year, except in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused the West Lawn concert to be cancelled; instead, PBS aired a virtual program with remote performances and appearances, as well as tributes to members of the military, veterans and front-line workers.
The 2020 NATIONAL MEMORIAL DAY CONCERT premiered as a virtual event on Sunday, May 24, 2020 from 8-9:30pm ET on PBS (check local listings), with Joe Mantegna and Gary Sinise hosting. The 31st annual broadcast of the NATIONAL MEMORIAL DAY CONCERT features virtual performances and appearances by General Colin Powell, Cynthia Erivo, Renee Fleming, Sam Elliott, Laurence Fishburne, Trace Adkins, Mary McCormack, Esai Morales, CeCe Winans, Kelli O'Hara and the National Symphony Orchestra. Plus, Christopher Jackson singes the National Anthem. Also participating in new and some past selected performances are members from The U.S. Army Herald Trumpets, The U.S. Army Chorus, The U.S. Army Voices and Downrange, The Soldiers' Chorus of the U.S. Army Field Band, The U.S. Navy Band Sea Chanters, The U.S. Air Force Singing Sergeants, and Service Color Teams provided by the Military District of Washington, D.C.

Woven throughout the program will be messages from prominent guest artists of thanks and support for active-duty military, National Guard and Reserve and their families, veterans, and Gold Star families along with first responders, doctors, nurses, grocery clerks, truck drivers, postal workers...all those who are on the front lines, putting their lives at risk now in the fight against this virus. Hosts Joe Mantegna and Gary Sinise will also share several powerful segments that highlight stories of generations of ordinary Americans who stepped forward and served our country with extraordinary valor in its most challenging times.



  • U.S. Capitol West Lawn - Washington DC USA