National Memorial Day Concert

Soldiers looking from the Speakers balcony at the live concert  on the west lawn

Highlights of the Concert

Learn more about the stories featured on the 2016 National Memorial Day Concert.

For almost three decades, PBS has inspired viewers with the annual broadcast of the multi-award-winning National Memorial Day Concert dedicated to our men and women in uniform, their families at home and all those who have given their lives for our country. The 2016 night of remembrance honored the over 400,000 valiant men and women who are laid to rest in the hallowed grounds of Arlington National Cemetery and chronicled the experiences of the millions of American veterans who still suffer from the seen and unseen wounds of war.

The 2016 concert was co-hosted for the 11th year by Tony Award winner Joe Mantegna and Emmy Award winner Gary Sinise, acclaimed actors dedicated to veterans’ causes and supporting our troops in active service.

The all-star lineup included distinguished American leader General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.); world-renowned four-time Grammy Award-winning classical superstar Renée Fleming; iconic music legends The Beach Boys; gifted actress and singer Katharine McPhee; country music star and Grammy-nominated member of the Grand Ole Opry Trace Adkins; Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG Award-winning actress S. Epatha Merkerson; actor/producer/director Esai Morales; Tony Award-winning Broadway sensation Alfie Boe; the final winner of American Idol Trent Harmon and the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of top pops conductor Jack Everly. Other participants included the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff with The U.S. Army Herald Trumpets, The U.S. Army Chorus, 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 the Armed Forces Color Guard and Service Color Teams provided by the Military District of Washington, D.C.