WASHINGTON, DC – On the 150th Anniversary of Memorial Day, PBS’ multi award-winning National Memorial Day Concert returns live from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol hosted by Tony Award Winner Joe Mantegna and Emmy Award Winner Gary Sinise. The 29th annual broadcast of the National Memorial Day Concert airs live on PBS on Sunday, May 27th from 8pm to 9:30pm before a concert audience of hundreds of thousands, millions more at home, and the United State troops serving around the world on the American Forces Network.
A 29-year tradition unlike anything else on television, America’s national night of remembrance takes us back to the real meaning of the holiday through personal stories interwoven with musical performances. This year’s program features the following stories:
Emmy, Golden Globe, and SAG Award nominated actor John Corbett from My Big Fat Greek Wedding and – star of Chicago Med – Brian Tee will help tell the story of Joe Annello and Hiroshi “Hershey” Miyamura. Annello and Miyamura were dear friends who helped each other survive during the deadly combat during the Korean War.
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 1st woman to receive the Silver Star for combat. This segment will feature Academy Award, Golden Globe, and Emmy Award winning actress Allison Janney from I, Tonya, Mom, and The West Wing and Tony nominated actress and star of TV’s Falling Water, The West Wing, and Loaded Mary McCormack.
This year also marks the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Khe Sanh, one of the fiercest battles of the Vietnam War. PBS’ National Memorial Day Concert will feature the story of Bill Rider, who was part of the battalion known as “The Walking Dead.” Bill’s story will focus on his return home to fight a different war…that of post-traumatic stress. As part of his healing process, Bill 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 from Dances with Wolves and Wind River.
2018 marks the 150th anniversary of Memorial Day, originally known as Decoration Day and first commemorated at Arlington National Cemetery.
PBS’ National Memorial Day Concert will be live-streamed on PBS, YouTube, Facebook, and www.pbs.org/national-memorial-day-concert. The 29th annual broadcast of the National Memorial Day Concert will air live on PBS on Sunday, May 27th from 8pm to 9:30pm.