Gary Sinise to Honor Veterans at Memorial Day Concert: ‘Give Back to Our Defenders’

Photo from Gary Sinise Foundation’s Instagram

Gary Sinise to Honor Veterans at Memorial Day Concert: ‘Give Back to Our Defenders’

By Movieguide® Contributor

Actor and veteran advocate Gary Sinise will perform at the NATIONAL MEMORIAL DAY CONCERT this year in honor of the men and women who have risked their lives for our country.

In a video posted to Instagram, the actor shared about people in his family who have served and why he is passionate about honoring them.

“I’m honored to be performing at the NATIONAL MEMORIAL DAY CONCERT,” Sinise began. “My active mission to give back to our defenders starts with family members. My grandfather served in World War I. He was an ambulance driver, driving back and forth from the front lines to the rear. And then he had three sons, one who was on a ship in the Pacific. My uncle, Jack, he was a navigator out of a B-17 bomber, and then my dad served in the Navy during the Korean War.”

Sinise explained the purpose behind the upcoming concert.

“A show like that NATIONAL MEMORIAL DAY CONCERT really shows what the sacrifice is about and what it’s done to keep us all free. Our freedom. The freedom to do as we can, if we just dream about it, that has been bought and paid for. Because not everybody is free in this world.”

“It does get you because these are emotional stories of service and sacrifice, and stories of everyday people that just went off to serve their country and bad things happened to them. Memorial Day honors them. It honors their families,” he added.

PEOPLE reported on the concert:

A dynamic roster of performers will be featured, including celebrated actress/vocalist Cynthia Erivo, Rascal Flatts lead singer Gary LeVox, country singer-songwriter and Marine Corps Reserve veteran Jamey Johnson, plus film and television stars Bryan Cranston, Jena Malone, BD Wong and Mary McCormack. Broadway performers Ruthie Ann Miles and Patina Miller will be featured too, alongside the National Symphony Orchestra.

Sinise will host alongside Joe Mantegna.

The FORREST GUMP actor founded the Gary Sinise Foundation which seeks to help servicemen and their families. The foundation’s website states, “At the Gary Sinise Foundation, we serve our nation by honoring our defenders, veterans, first responders, their families, and those in need. We do this by creating and supporting unique programs designed to entertain, educate, inspire, strengthen, and build communities.”

The 35th annual NATIONAL MEMORIAL DAY CONCERT will air Sunday, May 26, 2024, at 8/7c on PBS.

Movieguide® previously reported on the broadcast:

The broadcast will feature World War II U.S. Army Veteran John T. “Jack” Moran. His unit was “dropped directly into the Battle of the Bulge, [and] his company’s objective was to contain the bulge at Bastogne, the road junction the Germans needed to break through the American line. After hours of advancing in the woods, Moran’s company became trapped in foxholes behind enemy lines for six days in fighting so intense, it was miraculous they made it out alive.”

U.S. Marine Corps Veteran Kirstie Ennis will also share her story. In Afghanistan, her “aircraft crashed during combat operations.”

“Critically injured, she sustained severe damage to her left leg, full facial trauma, a shattered jaw, critical injuries to her spine and both shoulders and a traumatic brain injury. Her leg had to be amputated first below, then later above the knee after a life threatening infection,” PBS reported.

Lastly, U.S. Army Veteran Allen Hoe will explain how the “culture of duty and service influenced Hoe to become a combat medic after the Army drafted him at 19 and to ask to serve in Vietnam. During his service, he received a Bronze Star Medal, a Purple Heart and a Combat Medic Badge.”

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