Salute to the Services | National Memorial Day Concert | PBS
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It is traditional at patriotic events to honor each branch of the armed services with its own service song, and for the members of each branch to assume the position of “attention” during the duration of their song.

In 1986, National Memorial Day Concert producer Jerry Colbert commissioned American composer Henry Mancini to create a special medley arrangement to serve this purpose. The result was “Salute to the Services,” an orchestral piece incorporating all the service songs, designed specifically for our concert.

Over the years, “Salute to the Services” has been condensed and revised into the version now featured on our show. It is performed just prior to the address by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to honor and salute the men and women from each branch of our U.S. armed forces and their families.

When the songs are arranged in a medley format, it is protocol to present them in order of junior to senior service, as follows:


“Semper Paratus” performed by The United States Coast Guard Band

The U.S. Coast Guard is one of the five armed forces of the United States and the only military organization within the Department of Homeland Security whose mission is to safeguard our Nation’s maritime interests and environment around the world. The Coast Guard is an adaptable, responsive military force of maritime professionals whose broad legal authorities, capable assets, geographic diversity and expansive partnerships provide a persistent presence along our rivers, in the ports, littoral regions and on the high seas. Coast Guard presence and impact is local, regional, national and international. It is a unique instrument of maritime safety, security and environmental stewardship. — from the website


“The Air Force Song” performed by The United States Air Force Band

The mission of the United States Air Force is to fly, fight and win … in air, space and cyberspace. To achieve that mission, the Air Force has a vision of Global Vigilance, Reach and Power. That vision orbits around three core competencies: developing Airmen, technology to war fighting and integrating operations. — from the website


“Anchors Aweigh” performed by The United States Navy Band

The mission of the United States Navy is to maintain, train and equip combat-ready naval forces capable of winning wars, deterring aggression and maintaining freedom of the seas. — from the website


The Marine Corps Hymn” performed by The United States Marine Band

The Marine Corps serves as the aggressive tip of the U.S. military spear, with a reputation for prowess in combat. It is a smaller, more dynamic force than any other in the American arsenal, and the only forward-deployed force designed for expeditionary operations by air, land or sea. The Marine Corps motto, Semper Fidelis, or “Semper Fi,” meaning “Always Faithful,” describes the Marines’ commitment to each other, the organization and our country. — from the website


“As the Army Goes Rolling Along” performed by The United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own”

The Army’s mission is to fight and win our Nation’s wars by providing prompt, sustained land dominance across the full range of military operations and spectrum of conflict in support of combatant commanders. — from the website