Here’s Why Gary Sinise Didn’t Host National Memorial Day Concert for the First Time in 13 Years
In the middle of the emotion product of Memorial Day, it is very easy to lose the depth of meaning that important date has.
Choosing meat for the barbecue, buying everything you need, inviting people and choosing summer swimwear are some of the things that occupy the time of that three-day weekend.
However, that holiday date is really about something much more significant. It is about the sacrifice that brave men and women of this country have made, offering their lives so that they can enjoy life in freedom as we know it.
During the last 30 years, a concert has been held as a tribute to the fallen heroes. It is one of the shows broadcasted live that monopolizes a large audience due to its quality and presence.
This is why the fans of the event were surprised to learn that Gary Sinise, co-host of the concert during the last 13 editions of the program, "can't attend this year due to circumstances beyond his control", as it was known by a Press release with no other details.
Sinise was also scheduled to hold a free concert by Lieutenant Dan Band at Pullen Field in Fort Belvoir as part of the Invincible Spirit Festival on Thursday, May 23. A spokesman for the Washington-Baltimore Metropolitan USO confirmed that the event was still scheduled, but "Gary Sinise will not be there."
Instead of Sinise, it was later known the actress and daughter of Marine Corps Mary McCormack will present the Memorial Day Concert on Sunday. McCormack is best known for her roles in "The West Wing," "In Plain Sight," and "The Kids Are Alright."
Joe Mantegna, Tony Award winner and co-author of the concert known for his roles on stage, on the big screen and as CBS star "Criminal Minds" will be a co-host with McCormack.
McCormack said that telling the stories of true heroes is a moving experience. Her father is a marine and he also says that he greatly appreciates what this program does to enlighten men and women who are in military service.
The National Day of the Monument Concert was broadcast live on PBS at 8 p.m.on Sunday, May 26, from the West Lawn of the US Capitol. With a mixture of dramatic readings of families and military veterans, documentary material and, of course, outstanding performances by the best artists.
This special concert perfectly combines the memory with the celebration and has brought together some of the best stars in the world of entertainment during the years in which it was made. Stars as big as Tom Hanks, Allison Janney, and George Clooney, to name a few, have been there and this year will be no exception.
The line-up of performers and presenters included Hamilton Tony nominee Christopher Jackson, Olivier-winning Dreamgirls star Amber Riley, Grammy winner and Broadway alum Patti LaBelle, General Colin L. Powell.
The singer and songwriter Gavin DeGraw, Grammy-winning bluegrass icon Alison Krauss, Golden Globe-nominated actor Dennis Haysbert, country music star Justin Moore, American Idol finalist Alyssa Raghu, TV star Jaina Lee Ortiz, and Patrick Lundy & The Ministers of Music.
The performers were backed by the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Pops conductor Jack Everly.
Also participating in the event were the U.S Joint Chiefs of Staff with the U.S. Army Herald Trumpets, the U.S. Army Chorus and Army Voices, 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.