Co-hosted for the seventh year by Tony Award winner Joe Mantegna and Emmy Award winner Gary Sinise, the hour-long program will feature Colin L. Powell, rock band Daughtry, Grammy winner Natalie Cole, country singer Trace Adkins, actress Selma Blair, Oscar winner Ellen Burstyn, Emmy and Golden Globe winner Dennis Franz and tenor Russell Watson with the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of pops conductor Jack Everly.
The celebration, according to press notes, will also feature "a heartfelt welcome home to our troops who have been serving in Iraq and Afghanistan; the poignant story of a young widow who lost her husband in Afghanistan; a segment profiling the heroic and brave efforts of veterans from all wars; and a closer look at the plight of homeless American veterans."
“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 Mantegna in a statement. “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.