The 2008 concert is scheduled to air live on PBS stations around the country May 25 from 8-9:30 PM ET; check local listings. The Memorial Day Concert, which is held on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, will boast appearances and/or performances by Tony Award winner Idina Menzel, stage and concert star Sarah Brightman, Motown legend Gladys Knight, actor and comedian Denis Leary, stage veteran Charles Durning, country music star Rodney Atkins, actor and singer John Schneider, actress Gail O'Grady and film and television actress Caitlin Wachs. Erich Kunzel will conduct the National Symphony Orchestra.
The 90-minute performance will also feature The U.S. Army Herald Trumpets, The U.S. Army Ceremonial Band, The Soldiers Chorus of the U.S. Army Field Band, The Master Chorale of Washington, an Armed Forces Color Guard and Service Flags from each branch of the armed services provided by the Military District of Washington, D.C.
Actor Durning, a highly decorated World War II veteran, will, according to a press statement, "be recognized for his bravery and sacrifice as part of the 'greatest generation' who stepped forward in a time of need."
In a statement co-host Mantegna said, "I think all Americans have a moral obligation to honor the military, by taking a moment to pause and reflect on the bravery and sacrifice of our men and women in uniform, so that we can truly appreciate what they gave to preserve our freedoms."
Co-host Sinise added, "Lending a hand to our country's servicemen and women is truly one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. Knowing that they are not forgotten and that their sacrifice is appreciated can make a world of difference."
For more information visit www.pbs.org/memorialdayconcert.