National Memorial Day Concert Reminds Us Why We're Free


Celebrating it's 30th year, PBS will air the National Memorial Day Concert 2019 on the eve of our most important holiday. Its all star lineup of performers serves to honor and tell the stories of those brave men and women we've lost in uniform. Quite simply, National Memorial Day Concert reminds us why we're free.

For the 30th year, PBS is set to air the National Memorial Day Concert on the eve of the somber holiday. While for many, Memorial Day brings up thoughts of barbecues and the beach, the true meaning of the holiday serves to honor the lives and memory of the brave men and women who sacrificed their lives as members of our military.

Among the performers is the legendary Patti LaBelle, Gavin DeGraw, Alison Krauss, Justin Moore, Christopher Jackson, Amber Riley and Alyssa Raghu. Additionally, dramatic readings of stories from the front lines of our fallen soldiers are told by such stars as Mary McCormack (who serves as co-host), Dennis Haysbert, Sam Elliot and Jaina Lee Ortiz. Joe Mantegna co-hosts for the 14th year.

It's so easy to get caught up in making plans for a vacation or a get together with friends and family for Memorial Day and forget what it truly stands for. It's too easy in the hustle and bustle of life to forget the over 1.1 million U.S. soldiers who have died serving our country. It's too easy to forget that those 1.1 million soldiers had friends and family that loved them dearly and never got the chance to have their own barbecue with that loved one again. We must not forget. We must not ever forget these brave men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice to allow us to exercise the freedoms we enjoy every moment of every day.

I think it is summed up best in my conversation with co-host Joe Mantegna. I asked why he makes it a point to host the show every single year. "Memorial Day is very, very important because it's the holiday that without that holiday, there is no reason to have any other holidays".

National Memorial Day Concert 2019 airs lives on PBS tonight at 8pm across the country and to our troops overseas on the American Forces Network. It will also stream live on Facebook and YouTube. It will be available on demand for one week following the broadcast.

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Images courtesy of PBS / Capitol Concerts.