Highlights of the Concert
Watch a preview of the 2019 National Memorial Day Concert.
The National Memorial Day Concert returned live from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol for a special 30th anniversary broadcast hosted by Tony Award-winner Joe Mantegna and Tony-nominated actress Mary McCormack.
A 30-year tradition unlike anything else on television, America’s national night of remembrance takes us back to the real meaning of the holiday. 2019 marked the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion. Through the eyes of a highly-decorated combat medic who landed in the first wave on Omaha Beach, the concert paid tribute to the heroes who sacrificed and died in service to our nation and the world. The concert shared the story of two infantrymen who formed a brotherhood while serving in Vietnam and now meet each year at the Wall. A special 50th anniversary commemoration honored the service and sacrifice of veterans of the Vietnam War. For Gold Star families, every day is Memorial Day. In 2019, the concert shared one widow’s journey, beginning with the day her worst fears came true. While she could never “move on” from this devastating loss, she knew that for the sake of her daughter she would have to learn to move forward. Along the way, she found solace and empowerment in helping other widows and widowers.
The all-star line-up also featured: distinguished American leader General Colin L. Powell USA (Ret.); Academy Award-nominated actor Sam Elliott; Grammy Award-winning legend Patti LaBelle; multi-platinum selling singer, performer and songwriter Gavin DeGraw; acclaimed actor Dennis Haysbert; Broadway and television star Christopher Jackson (Hamilton,Bull); multi-Grammy Award-winning bluegrass icon Alison Krauss; SAG and Olivier Award-winning and Grammy Award-nominated actress and singer Amber Riley (Glee, Dreamgirls); platinum-selling country music star Justin Moore; television star Jaina Lee Ortiz; and Patrick Lundy & The Ministers of Music; in performance with the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of top pops conductor Jack Everly. American Idol Season 17 finalist Alyssa Raghu opened the show with a special performance of the national anthem.
Also participating in the event were the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff with The U.S. Army Herald Trumpets, The U.S. Army Chorus and Army Voices, The Soldiers' Chorus of the U.S. Army Field Band, The U.S. Navy Band Sea Chanters, The U.S. Air Force Singing Sergeants, The Armed Forces Color Guard and Service Color Teams provided by the Military District of Washington, D.C.