PBS honors men and women in uniform with National Memorial Day Concert


The National Memorial Day Concert will be broadcast live on PBS, on Sunday, May 29, 2016 at 8 p.m. The free concert takes place right on the Capitol’s West Lawn.

During the concert, local Bowie, Maryland resident and hero, Jack Farley’s story of service and sacrifice will be featured.

At the height of the Vietnam War, 1st Lt. Jack Farley (Class of ’64) found himself serving his country halfway around the world in a foreign land. Farley was one of 1.7 million U.S. servicemen drafted and sent to Vietnam between 1965 and 1973. Farley and his platoon were engaged in search and destroy missions, hunting an elusive enemy through thick jungles and sodden rice paddies. On January 10, 1969, Viet Cong forces unexpectedly began to shell Farley’s fire support base with mortar fire. One of the shells exploded next to him, sending shrapnel into his body. For Farley, his toughest battle would be in the months and years ahead. His right leg was amputated above the knee, but he refused to let that injury define him for the rest of his life. He would go on to help a future generation of wounded veterans.

For almost three decades, PBS has inspired viewers with the annual broadcast of the multi-award-winning National Memorial Day Concert dedicated to the men and women in uniform, their families at home and all those who have given their lives for our country. The night of remembrance will honor the over 400,000 valiant men and women who are laid to rest in the hallowed grounds of Arlington National Cemetery and chronicle the experiences of the millions of American veterans who still suffer from the seen and unseen wounds of war.

Hosted by Joe Mantegna (Criminal Minds) and Gary Sinise (Criminal Minds: Without Borders), the program also features distinguished American leader General Colin L. Powell USA (Ret.); world-renowned four-time Grammy Award-winning classical superstar Renée Fleming; iconic music legends The Beach Boys; gifted actress and singer Katharine McPhee (Scorpion); country music star and Grammy-nominated member of the Grand Ol Opry Trace Adkins; Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG Award-winning actress S. Epatha Merkerson (Chicago Med, Law & Order); Award-winning actor Esai Morales (Mozart in the Jungle); plus Tony Award-winning sensation Alfie Boe, who has just joined the Broadway cast of the smash hit Finding Neverland; and marking the end of an era, Trent Harmon, the final winner of American Idol, in performance with the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of top pops conductor Jack Everly. Also participating are the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff 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 Band Sea Chanters, The U.S. Air Force Singing Sergeants and the Armed Forces Color Guard and Service Color Teams provided by the Military District of Washington, D.C.

For more information about the National Memorial Day Concert, visit: www.pbs.org/national-memorial-day-concert.