Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Watch Live

Arts & Culture

National Memorial Day Concert 2012

This year's National Memorial Day Concert features (l-r) Trace Adkins, Natalie Cole, co-hosts Joe Mantegna and Gary Sinise, Jessica Sanchez and Daughtry.
Courtesy of Capital Concerts
This year's National Memorial Day Concert features (l-r) Trace Adkins, Natalie Cole, co-hosts Joe Mantegna and Gary Sinise, Jessica Sanchez and Daughtry.

Airs Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 8 p.m. & 9:30 p.m. on KPBS TV

Photo Gallery

We have been privileged to welcome so many talented artists who have dedicated themselves to creating a moving remembrance and tribute to all our service members. This selection of photos provides a few examples of the show's special moments.

Share Your Memorial Day Traditions

Those who have lost loved ones or friends in the United States Armed Forces understand that Memorial Day is not only a holiday for barbeques and celebrations but it is a time for traditions that honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Learn more about Memorial Day traditions and share yours with our online community!

Resources for Service Members and Families

Many service members and their families need help with relocation, medical care and benefits, education for themselves and their children and staying connected to military families who understand what they are facing. View a list of resources.

On the eve of Memorial Day, a star-studded line-up will grace the stage for one of PBS’ highest-rated programs, the "National Memorial Day Concert." The multi award-winning television event has truly become an American tradition, honoring the service and sacrifice of all our men and women in uniform, their families at home and those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

The concert will feature riveting performances from some of the world’s biggest stars. In addition, acclaimed actors will present personal stories of love and sacrifice submitted by viewers through the concert’s “Virtual Wall of Remembrance.”

The "National Memorial Day Concert" will air live in HD from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol on Sunday, May 27, 2012 on PBS before a concert audience of hundreds of thousands, millions more at home, as well as to our troops serving around the world on the American Forces Network.


The program is co-hosted for the seventh year by Tony Award-winner Joe Mantegna (“Criminal Minds”) and Emmy Award-winner Gary Sinise (“CSI: New York”), two acclaimed actors who have dedicated themselves to veteran’s causes and supporting our troops in active service.

They will be joined by an all-star line-up including distinguished American leader Colin L. Powell USA (Ret.); the multi-platinum rock band Daughtry; nine-time Grammy award-winner, singer and songwriter Natalie Cole; country music superstar Trace Adkins; acclaimed film and television actress Selma Blair; Emmy, Oscar and Tony Award-winning actress Ellen Burstyn; Emmy and Golden Globe-winning actor and Vietnam veteran Dennis Franz; and renowned tenor Russell Watson in performance with the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of top pops conductor Jack Everly.

Jessica Sanchez will perform the "National Anthem" as well as her rendition of "The Prayer" (by Celine Dion) which she performed to critical acclaim on "American Idol." Sanchez has a special connection to this concert since her father has served several tours of duty in Iraq and Kuwait with the Navy, while her grandfather is a retired Navy veteran.

“Each year on the eve of Memorial Day, we gather at the U.S. Capitol to share the real stories of fallen and wounded heroes, their families and their combat buddies as a way to remember, to grieve and begin to heal,” said concert co-host Joe Mantegna. “Every one of your stories of remembrance is important to us. We are honored to be able to share these moving tributes from our loyal viewers as we remember the sacrifices made by so many to preserve our freedoms.”

The U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff will also participate in the event, along with 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 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.


"National Memorial Day Concert" (PBS) is on Facebook.

Your browser does not support this object. Content can be viewed at actual source page:

Watch Backstage on PBS. See more from National Memorial Day Concert.

Acclaimed actors Gary Sinise (“CSI: New York”) and Joe Mantegna (“Criminal Minds”) reunite a seventh time to host the 2012 “National Memorial Day Concert.” Both Sinise and Mantegna have deep personal connections to the Memorial Day holiday and have dedicated themselves to veterans causes as well as supporting our troops in active service.
“Salute to the Services” is performed each year on the National Memorial Day Concert as a means of honoring and saluting the men and women from each branch of our Armed Forces who have served our country in one of America’s conflicts. It is performed just prior to the Address by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.