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"This was a wonderful presentation! While we all want to listen to the music and celebrate happy times, it's necessary to hear the letters, the reminiscences and the horror stories of war. My heart goes out to all the disabled veterans as well as to those who have lost loved ones."

Peggy Anderson
NH

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The 2003 “National Memorial Day Concert”

Notable moments from the 2003 National Memoral Day ConcertNotable moments from the 2003 National Memoral Day ConcertNotable moments from the 2003 National Memoral Day Concert

The 2003 Concert featured a patriotic tribute to the troops serving in the Persian Gulf and remembrance of the heroes and victims of September 11 and the war on terrorism. In addition to paying homage to the thousands of veterans who have served or made the ultimate sacrifice in our country's service, the program commemorated the 50th anniversary of the armistice agreement that ended the Korean War. The concert also provided a very personal remembrance of the Vietnam War, which had come to an end 30 years earlier through the stories of four Gold Star Mothers who lost their sons.

Host Ossie Davis was joined by an Award-winning cast of actors and musicians. Golden Globe winning actor Dylan McDermott related the chilling story of Lincoln Liebner who watched as the jet airplane crashed into the Pentagon (for more information browse our Stories from America's Conflicts) John Glenn, a much-decorated veteran of World War II space pioneer, American hero and former United States Senator, spoke about our soldiers in Afghanistan and the tragic loss of those aboard the Shuttle Columbia (for more information visit the Stories from America's Conflicts section of this site). The National Symphony Orchestra performed a moving rendition of "The Right Stuff," also in tribute to the astronauts. Distinguished actor Charles Durning honored those soldiers sent to fight in Iraq and their families leftNotable moments from the 2003 National Memoral Day Concert at home.

Triple platinum country music superstars Lonestar performed their hit "I'm Already There," a song that is an anthem for military men and women in all branches of the service. World War II veteran and Emmy Award-winning television and film actor Tony Randall paid tribute to those who lost their lives in the Korean War.

Talented and acclaimed actors Joe Mantegna, Marion Ross, and Gina Rowlands shared the moving story of a Vietnam vet who helped Gold Star mothers face the deaths of their sons as they traveled to the locations in Vietnam where their sons died.

Notable moments from the 2003 National Memoral Day ConcertNotable moments from the 2003 National Memoral Day ConcertNotable moments from the 2003 National Memoral Day Concert

Inspiring and moving musical tributes were performed by Grammy Award-winning gospel singer Yolanda Adams, British opera star Russell Watson, singing and acting sensation Tom Wopat, pop and Broadway sensation Linda Eder, Grammy Award-winning opera star Renée Fleming and the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of premier pops conductor Erich Kunzel. Noted military participants included the Chairman and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the U.S. Armed Forces Color Guard and Color Service Teams, the U.S. Army Chorus and the U.S. Navy Sea Chanters. Also performing were the Choral Arts Society of Washington and the Washington Ballet.


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