2020 NATIONAL MEMORIAL DAY CONCERT OVERVIEW
Tony Award-winner Joe Mantegna and Emmy Award-winner Gary Sinise co-hosted a special presentation of the National Memorial Day Concert with new performances and tributes filmed around the country and featuring some of the most iconic and powerful segments from past concerts highlighting stories of generations of ordinary Americans who stepped forward and served our country with extraordinary valor in its most challenging times. Woven throughout the program were messages from prominent guest artists with words of thanks and support for those who have served and sacrificed for our nation.
The 2020 National Memorial Day Concert paid tribute to the men and women who are doing so much for all of us in the current fight against COVID-19, and continued the 31 year tradition of honoring and remembering our troops, veterans, wounded warriors, all those who have given their lives for freedom, and their families.
Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the traditional live concert on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol was not held to ensure the health and safety of all involved.
America’s national night of remembrance featured: distinguished American statesman General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.); Tony, Emmy, and Grammy winner and two-time Oscar nominee, Cynthia Erivo; world-renowned four-time Grammy Award- winning soprano superstar Renée Fleming; Academy Award-nominated actor Sam Elliott; Oscar nominee and Emmy and Tony-Award winner Laurence Fishburne; country music star and Grammy-nominated member of the Grand Ole Opry Trace Adkins; Tony Award-nominated actress Mary McCormack; actor/producer/director Esai Morales; Grammy Award-winning gospel legend CeCe Winans; Tony Award- winning Broadway star Kelli O’Hara; the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of top pops conductor Jack Everly; and a special message from General Mark A. Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Broadway and television star Christopher Jackson opened the show with a poignant performance of the national anthem.
With special messages from: George Clooney, Courteney Cox, Bryan Cranston, Chris Evans, Jennifer Garner, Graham Greene, Jon Hamm, Marcia Gay Harden, Dulé Hill, Bonnie Hunt, Jimmy Kimmel, Lisa Kudrow, Patti LaBelle, Denis Leary, Sugar Ray Leonard, S. Epatha Merkerson, Julianne Moore, Rita Moreno, Jaina Lee Ortiz, Gwyneth Paltrow, Anthony Ramos, Zoe Saldana, Jimmy Smits, Brian Tee, Blair Underwood, Milo Ventimiglia, Lindsey Vonn, Mark Wahlberg, Steven Weber, Vanessa Williams, Chely Wright, Noah Wyle.
Also participating were members from The U.S. Army Herald Trumpets, The U.S. Army Chorus, The U.S. Army Voices and Downrange, 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 Service Color Teams provided by the Military District of Washington, D.C.
“In this unprecedented time, when the nation needs it most, we will bring Americans together as one family to honor our heroes,” said Executive Producer Michael Colbert. “This has been the mission of the National Memorial Day Concert for 30 years, and we look forward to sharing stories and music of support, hope, resilience, and patriotism.”