"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."
The 2007 “National Memorial Day Concert”
The 2007 concert focused on two major themes: supporting the servicemen and women who have been injured in the line of duty and visiting the hallowed burial ground of Arlington National Cemetery, which dates back to the Civil War and contains the remains of Americans killed in all wars, from the Revolutionary War to the present. Co-hosts Gary Sinise and Joe Mantegna were joined by eight-time Grammy Award winner Natalie Cole, county music sensation Josh Turner, Academy award-winning actress Dianne Wiest, Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning actor Jimmy Smits, acclaimed actress Bonnie Hunt, jazz vocalist Jane Monheit, distinguished actor Charles Durning, inspirational singer CeCe Winans, General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.) and the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Erich Kunzel. The U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff also played a special role in the concert, along with the Joint Armed Forces Color Guard and color guard teams from each branch of the armed services, provided by the Military District of Washington. Also featured were the U.S. Army Herald Trumpets, the U.S. Army Chorale, the U.S. Navy Sea Chanters, the U.S. Air Force Singing Sergeants and the Choral Arts Society of Washington.
A Tribute to the Brave Servicemen
and Women Injured in the Line of Duty Due to remarkable developments in technology, and the speed in treating soldiers on the battlefield, many more are surviving what would have been deadly injuries in previous wars. Co-host Gary Sinise and acclaimed actress Bonnie Hunt shared Ted and Sarah’s inspiring story of struggle and determination as they face the challenges of traumatic brain injury. The Wades’ story emphasizes the extended healing process for victims of TBI, amputees, those with stress from trauma and soldiers with other seen and unseen wounds of war. Read more about this issue and find resources for helping wounded soldiers and their families.
Arlington National Cemetery: Then and Now Arlington National Cemetery, one of our nation’s most important shrines, contains the remains of more than 260,000 brave men and women who have given their lives for their country. Section 60 is where the soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan who are eligible and choose to be buried at Arlington are laid to rest. Last year’s show shared the heartbreaking and poignant story of Gina Barnhurst, who lost her son Eric in Iraq and visits his grave in Section 60 every week and writes to him. Viewers were extremely moved by this story and wanted to
read Gina’s letter as shared on the show by Dianne Weist. Also in 2007,
Jimmy Smits reflected on the pain and grief of losing a loved one to war.