Marking Memorial Day

(Above source: PBS video)

Staying home for a change this Memorial Day weekend? You can mark the true purpose of the holiday — paying tribute to America’s war dead — with the 31st annual National Memorial Day Concert and the first Parade of Heroes.

National Memorial Day Concert

Usually presented live from the West Lawn of the US Capitol, this year’s 90-minute National Memorial Day Concert will instead consist of pre-recorded performances and tributes from around the country. Along with honoring the nation’s war dead, the show will also salute active-duty military, National Guard and Reserve and their families, veterans, Gold Star families, first responders, doctors, nurses, grocery clerks, truck drivers and postal workers.

(Gary Sinise and Joe Mantegna, courtesy PBS)

Actors Joe Mantegna and Gary Sinise will host, with appearances by Christopher Jackson, Colin Powell, Cynthia Erivo, Renée Fleming, Trace Adkins, CeCe Winans, Kelli O’Hara, Mary McCormack, the National Symphony Orchestra, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Jack Everly. There will also be segments from past shows including Sam Elliott, Laurence Fishburne and Esai Morales.

You can see the National Memorial Day Concert Sunday, May 24, at 8 pm over the air on PBS stations (but check local listings), via streaming at, Facebook, YouTube, or right here:

The National Memorial Day Concert will then be available on demand through June 7.

For more info, visit

Parade of Heroes

Traditional Memorial Day Parades are out this year, so Ancestry will throw a virtual one.

For its 45-minute Parade of Heroes, Ancestry has teamed up with a bevy of impressive partners, including the Wounded Warrior ProjectThe Greatest GENERATIONS FoundationHeroes of the Second World War Jewish War Veterans of the U.S.A. (JWV)Combined Arms, and Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors.

Kathie Lee Gifford will host, with performances by Tori Kelly, Acapop! Kids and a marching band. There will also be appearances by LL Cool J, Mario Lopez and Rob Lowe, and interviews with veterans of all ages.

You can join the virtual parade at 11 am ET Monday, May 25, on Ancestry’s Facebook page or YouTube channel, where it will then be available for on-demand viewing.

About Les Luchter

Les Luchter is a former managing editor of Multichannel News, editor-in-chief of Cable Marketing, and news editor of Broadcast Week.

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