“Another Memorial Day, another reminder of not having our son with us, but a day that makes us so very proud off all he gave and so many others. He joined the Army to give of himself, to give to his country, to make a difference. After serving in Iraq he was discharged. His life didn't end in Iraq, but we lost a part of him there when he lost a very dear friend. He struggled for 2 1/2 years with that experience, trying to get through a "normal" life. Let's not forget those that served but lost the fight afterwards, for "only the dead have seen the end of War". I didn't know what that really meant until we lost our son, the War has ended for him and so many others. We love you son!”
Each year, the “National Memorial Day Concert” presents a unique program honoring the valor and patriotism of Americans who have served our country in times of conflict.The 2010 show paid tribute to the sacrifices of service members, their families and loved ones, and focused on three main themes:
The concert honored the sacrifices, suffering and love of a new generation of young military widows whose fallen spouses served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
On the 60th anniversary of the Korean War, the broadcast paid tribute to the heroic service of the soldiers who fought and perished in this "forgotten war."
The concert also paid homage to the more than 125,000 WWI and WWII service members who did not come home, but are resting in 24 military cemeteries, in the foreign lands where they fought for liberty.
In Memoriam - 2009
We deeply mourned the passing of friend and colleague Maestro Erich Kunzel who, for 20 years, conducted the “National Memorial Day Concert” and A Capitol Fourth. Erich Kunzel's dedication to our nation was unsurpassed. Capital Concerts and our country lost a dear friend, a great conductor and a true patriot.
The 2010 National Memorial Day Concert was co-hosted for the fifth year by Emmy Award-winner Gary Sinise ("CSI: New York") and Tony Award-winner Joe Mantegna ("Criminal Minds"), two acclaimed actors who have dedicated themselves to veterans' causes and supporting our troops in active service. Joining co-hosts Sinise and Mantegna was an all-star line-up of dignitaries, actors and musical artists that included: distinguished American leader Colin L. Powell USA (Ret.); Oscar, Golden Globe and multiple Grammy award-winning music legend and humanitarian Lionel Richie, whose distinguished career includes more than 100 million records sold; Grammy, CMA and ACM Award-winning country music artist Brad Paisley; Tony and Emmy Award-winning actress Blythe Danner; acclaimed actors Dennis Haysbert and A.J. Cook; classical crossover artist Katherine Jenkins; three-time Tony-nominated Broadway star Kelli O'Hara; and Grammy-winning gospel/adult contemporary superstar Yolanda Adams in performance with the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of top pops conductor Jack Everly.