‘An Honor’: Bryan Cranston, Cynthia Erivo, Garey LeVox Appeared at PBS Memorial Day Concert

Photo from Justin Casey via Unsplash

‘An Honor’: Bryan Cranston, Cynthia Erivo, Garey LeVox Appeared at PBS Memorial Day Concert

By Movieguide® Contributor

People all over the country are observing Memorial Day, and PBS’ National Memorial Day Concert brought the nation together to honor our country’s servicemen and women.

“For 35 years, our mission has been to bring the country together to remember the fallen, commemorate the real meaning of the holiday, and pay tribute to generations of our American heroes and their families,” executive producer Michael Colbert of Capital Concerts, said in a statement about the concert. “It is an honor to share this annual tradition of remembrance, healing and community at the U.S. Capitol.”

The 90-minute show aired last night and featured appearances from actors like Bryan Cranston, Jena Malone, BD Wong, Patina Miller and Mary McCormack, as well as musical performances from Cynthia Erivo, Gary LeVox and Jamey Johnson. The National Symphony Orchestra also performed. 

Movieguide® previously reported on Johnson’s performance:

Country music artist Jamey Johnson is preparing to debut a patriotic new single “21 Guns” on PBS’ upcoming National Memorial Day Concert. 

“I have performed the song live quite a bit for the past year or so,” he told PEOPLE. “We just went into the studio recently to record it. It timed out perfectly to put it out there on display. It will be in new music we are releasing this year. I am happy ‘21 Guns’ found a home.”

The Grammy-nominated singer said that Memorial Day was the perfect time for him to debut the single and honor our troops. 

“When I was asked to do a song for the Memorial Day concert, this was the first song that came into my mind because it is literally about Memorial Day,” Johnson said in a statement about the performance. “I think this show is well worth doing.”

He added, “I love the fact that they gather that many people out there to celebrate the men and women who died to make our country what it is today. We do owe them a debt of gratitude and should stop what we are doing to be thankful for what they have given us. I am proud I get to be a part of it.”

Joe Mantegna and Gary Sinise returned as co-hosts of the event. 

“I was like anybody else. I just thought of Memorial Day weekend as a three-day weekend,” Mantegna said of his first time hosting the event. “Well, all I can say is, that weekend changed my life because it just brought into focus how important that holiday is.”

He shared that he had “a lot of military” members in his family, but none were lost in the line of duty. 

“I got lucky. Then I realized the ones who weren’t so lucky. It all came into focus,” the CRIMINAL MINDS actor said. “So at the end of the day, I realized I’d do this again if they want me to. Of course, they asked me back the next year and I did that.”

This year’s concert also featured a special tribute to the Americans who served during WWII. 

“On the 80th anniversary of 1944, a pivotal year in the war, the tribute will commemorate hard fought battles in the Pacific and European theaters that secured the allied path to victory,” PBS announced. “As part of this special segment, the concert will share the story of U.S. Army Veteran John T. ‘Jack’ Moran, a soldier in the Battle of the Bulge, and his remembrance of friends who fought alongside him to save the world from tyranny. Members of this Greatest Generation will be honored on stage at the United States Capitol.”

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