Capital Concerts is returning for PBS’ National Memorial Day Concert, a live presentation from Washington, D.C. hosted by Tony Award-winner Joe Mantegna and Emmy Award-winner Gary Sinise. Both actors have dedicated themselves to veterans causes and supporting our troops in active service. The 90-minute broadcast of the 33rd annual concert will air on PBS and stream on YouTube and www.pbs.org/national-memorial-day-concert on Sunday, May 29, 2022 at 8 p.m. E.T. and 5 p.m., P.T. The concert will honor our men and women in uniform, veterans, their families and all those who have given their lives for our country.
A more than three decades long tradition, this deeply moving and reverential night takes us back to the real meaning of the holiday through personal stories interwoven with musical performances by top stars with the National Symphony Orchestra. The 2022 National Memorial Day Concert will include the following segments:
- General Colin Powell Remembrance – featuring acclaimed actor Dennis Haysbert (24, MAJOR LEAGUE).
The concert will honor the memory and legacy of General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.). For over a quarter of a century, General Powell was an important part of the concert, speaking to the nation about the sacred meaning of Memorial Day, reminding us of the debt owed to all those who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our liberty and freedom, and calling on the nation to help and support those who served and their families.
- Generations of Service – portrayed by award-winning actor Gil Birmingham (YELLOWSTONE, WIND RIVER).
In tribute to the over 58,000 American lives lost in the Vietnam War and those who served during the Vietnam era, the concert will share the story of combat medic Francis Whitebird, a young warrior from a Lakota family with generations of military service. Whitebird’s uncle fought in World War I, his father was a Lakota Code Talker during World War II, and both his sons served in the Iraq War. During two tours in Vietnam, Whitebird endured combat losses and saved lives, received a Purple heart, and forged bonds of friendship that have lasted a lifetime. Francis Whitebird will be honored for his service to his fellow soldiers and to our country.
- Honoring Gold Star Families – with multi-Emmy Award-winning actress Jean Smart (HACKS, MARE OF EASTTOWN) and Joe Mantegna.
Each year, the concert remembers the fallen and their grieving families. In 2022, we share the story of Maj. General Mark Graham, USA (Ret.) and his wife Carol, who in under eight months suffered the loss of their two sons. 2LT Jeff Graham, killed in Iraq by an IED blast and Senior ROTC Cadet Kevin Graham, who lost his battle with depression. Their sons died fighting different battles, but both dedicated their lives to serving the nation. The Graham’s story shares their journey through grief, healing and their decision to spend their lives helping others receive mental health and other critical support.
- Women in WWII Tribute
The concert will honor and remember the women who served the nation in uniform and on the home front in World War II in a tribute to these unsung heroes of the Greatest Generation, with several of these trailblazing women taking part in the segment.
- A tribute to the heroism, sacrifice and dedication of our Medal of Honor recipients – the nation’s highest award for valor in combat – will feature the participation of living recipients.
The national night of remembrance will also feature performances by: multiple award-winning actress and singer Lea Salonga (MISS SAIGON, MULAN); Emmy, Grammy, Tony, and SAG Award-nominated actor Norm Lewis (PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, SCANDAL); chart topping country music singer songwriter and U.S. Army veteran Craig Morgan; Grammy-winning singer Rhiannon Giddens; Tony Award-winning Broadway star Brian Stokes Mitchell; acclaimed singer and AMERICAN IDOL alum Pia Toscano; the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of top pops conductor Jack Everly; annual audience favorite Salute to Services with the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Also participating are members from The U.S. Army Herald Trumpets, The U.S. Army Chorus, The Soldiers’ Chorus of the U.S. Army Field Band, The U.S. Navy Band Sea Chanters, The U.S. Air Force Singing Sergeants, the Armed Forces Color Guard and Service Color Teams provided by the Military District of Washington, D.C.
The National Memorial Day Concert airs on PBS Sunday, May 29, 2022, from 8 to 9:30 p.m. E.T., as well as to our troops serving around the world on the American Forces Network. The concert will also be streaming on YouTube and www.pbs.org/national-memorial-day-concert and available as Video on Demand, May 29 to June 12, 2022.
After two years of virtual presentations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there will once again be a live concert broadcast to the nation. Please join us on PBS and streaming to honor our military heroes and their families. The concert venue is not open to the public as the Capitol complex continues its phased re-opening (please visit https://www.uscp.gov/media-center/press-releases/2022-national-memorial-day-concert-traffic-restrictions)