National Memorial Day Concert

Bugler in front of US Capitol building

National PTSD Awareness Day – June 27th

Last Updated by Capital Concerts on
Gen. Colin Powell, USA (Ret.) comforts Specialist Michael Martin

The unseen wounds of war continue to take their toll on U.S. service members, veterans and their families. Although there has been debate as to whether the condition should be labeled as PTS or PTSD, the clinically-diagnosed condition, both include similar symptoms; fear, anxiety, anger and nervousness. What is not debatable is that trying to handle the PTS/D alone is not the most effective path to healing. Reaching out and accepting help from caring and concerned others is a pivotal step in the recovery process.

Those who are experiencing signs of post-traumatic stress should seek professional counseling, while family members and friends should encourage their loved ones to get the help they need in addition to seeking support themselves for the challenges that can affect those close to the service member or veteran. There are a range of resources and methods to address the trauma from professional counseling, medication-based approaches and a variety of cognitive behavioral therapies to peer and family support groups, art and music therapies and mindfulness practices.

On the 2016 National Memorial Day Concert General Colin Powell, USA (Ret.), spoke about PTS/D -- the unseen wounds of war -- and why Americans should make it their mission and duty to help service members and veterans get the support they need in order to heal. Watch General Powell's speech and see his complete remarks below.

Gen. Colin Powell, USA (Ret.) addresses the unseen wounds of war on the 2016 concert.

Good Evening. Ladies and Gentlemen, I am both humbled and proud to be with you tonight, as we all participate in this extraordinary recognition of our military men and women. The stories we are hearing tonight reflect their bravery and sacrifice and the vast challenges they and their families face in the aftermath of war.Paula Davis is every parent who has lost a child to war; and must struggle to learn to live with that devastating loss.

Jack Farley tells us how many in the nation turned their backs on our returning Vietnam veterans and the tragedy of that War.

Yes, today’s troops return to a welcoming country grateful for their service, but they too still suffer the wounds of war, physically and emotionally, and there is so much more we must do to help them and their families.

Scripture counsels us: “To heal the broken hearted, bring joy and gladness instead of grief and a song of praise instead of sorrow.”

Just as every fingerprint is different, so is every war story. But there is a common denominator among those who serve in time of war: the deep-seated wounds, often invisible. The scars from war are real. They are devastating and it’s often hard to see a way out. They are part of a veteran’s life, forever woven into the very fabric of who they are.

Reaching out to our brother and sister veterans, encouraging them to talk about these wounds, is a critical step in their healing process. The more we listen to their stories and allow them to grieve what is lost, the more they can learn to accept and heal their own wounds.

All veterans need to know that help is there. There are places you can go. There are people -- dedicated doctors, caregivers, friends, supporters and loved ones -- who want to help you overcome your injuries and reach your fullest potential.

As we strengthen relationships with our military families; and get involved with organizations that help heal injuries of the body, mind and spirit, the more we heal as individuals and as a nation.

So tonight, to all of our nation’s veterans and, to all of our nation’s fallen and their families, we thank you.

Now please everyone stand if you can, and stand for those who can’t. Let’s give our nation’s veterans and their families the tribute they so richly deserve!


Help is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year for veterans in crisis and their families and friends. If you or someone you know is experiencing the symptoms of emotional distress, including thoughts of suicide, immediate help is available through The Military and Veterans Crisis Line by calling 1-800-273-8255 (Press 1). Confidential help is also available in a chat online, or by sending a text message to 838255.

In 2010, the United States Senate appointed June 27th as National PTSD Awareness Day, which is designed to bring greater awareness to the issue of PTSD. Four years later, the Senate designated the entire month of June as a time to further “raise public awareness of PTSD and effective treatments.”


Capital Concerts, Inc. About Capital Concerts

Capital Concerts, Inc. is the nation’s leading producer of live patriotic television shows including the National Memorial Day Concert and A Capitol Fourth broadcast annually from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. After more than 25 years, these two award-winning productions have become national traditions, bringing us together as one family of Americans to celebrate our freedom and democratic ideals and to pay tribute to those who defend them.