Pandemic-safe celebration for heroes, Memorial Day Concert PBS May 24

 Memorial Day dates back to the Civil War, created as a way to heal a divided nation. It is good to remember that nowadays.

 America’s fallen service men and women, as well as active troops, wounded warriors, and veterans will still be honored across the United States this Memorial Day. But the country’s raging coronavirus pandemic will make the 2020 ceremonies very different from the past.

Gary Sinise, Joe Mantegna (photo courtesy of Capital Concerts)

 A safe and wonderful way to celebrate America’s heroes is to be at home and tune in a special presentation of PBS’ NATIONAL MEMORIAL DAY CONCERT: AMERICA’S NIGHT OF REMEMBRANCE, hosted by Joe Mantegna and Gary Sinise, on Sunday, May 24, 2020 (check schedule for re-airings).

 It will feature tributes to the Armed Forces and front line heroes of the pandemic crisis. Plus performances and appearances by General Colin Powell, Cynthia Erivo, Renée Fleming, Sam Elliott, Laurence Fishburne, Trace Adkins, Mary McCormack, Esai Morales, CeCe Winans, Kelli O’Hara, General Mark A. Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the National Symphony Orchestra with Christopher Jackson (from Broadway’s Hamilton) singing a poignant National Anthem.

 The special 90-minute presentation of the National Memorial Day Concert will feature new and relevant content for these times and segments from the past. It will have performances and tributes filmed around the country. Due to the the public health emergency the traditional live concert on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol will not be held to ensure the safety of all involved. But you may rest assured it will sincerely celebrate our heroes in uniform who have done so much for all of us.

 National Guard troops are currently deployed throughout the states to aid in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, at testing sites, contact tracing, food banks, and setting up field hospitals, among other duties.

[Here’s a link to a Stars And Stripes story about the National Guard’s deployment service and struggles:, Support these front line troops.]

 “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.”

The NATIONAL MEMORIAL DAY CONCERT airs on PBS Sunday, May 24, 2020, from 8:00 to 9:30 p.m. E.T., as well as to U.S. troops serving around the world on the American Forces Network.  The concert will also stream on Facebook, YouTube and and available as Video on Demand, May 24 to June 7, 2020. The program is a co-production of Michael Colbert of Capital Concerts and WETA. The special can also be seen on PBS SoCal the Public Media Group of Southern California.

Margie Barron has written for a wide variety of outlets including Gannett newspapers, Nickelodeon, Tiger Beat and 16 Magazine, Fresh!, Senior Life, Production Update, airline magazines, etc. Margie is also proud to have been half of the husband & wife writing team Frank & Margie Barron, who had written together for various entertainment and travel publications for more than 38 years.