Memorial Day concert on tap

I’ll admit freely to a few things.

I have a sweet tooth that is unrelenting. I have a fondness for cats over dogs. I am willing to ask directions if I get lost.

And I am a sap for patriotic music and tributes.

The last item will be satisfied Sunday night on a Panhandle PBS broadcast of the National Memorial Day Concert from the Washington, D.C. Mall. The concert airs at 7 p.m. If you miss it then, the broadcast encores at 8:30 p.m.

An all-star lineup is going to pay musical tribute to the men and women who have sacrificed on our behalf. This is one of those broadcast events I look forward to every year.

The co-hosts for the event are two men — Joe Mantegna and Gary Sinise — who’ve devoted much of their time when they’re not acting on TV or in films to the cause of service personnel and veterans. You know them both well.

Mantegna’s character, Dave Rossi, on the hit CBS-TV crime drama “Criminal Minds,” is a Vietnam War veteran. Rossi doesn’t dwell on his service in ‘Nam, but mentions it occasion. Mantegna has devoted much of his off-screen time to helping veterans cope with their return from the battlefield in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Sinise’s most well-known film role was as “Lieutenant Dan” in the acclaimed movie “Forrest Gump,” which starred Tom Hanks in the Oscar-winning title role. Lieutenant Dan was a crusty, embittered, grievously wounded Army infantry officer who served in Vietnam. Sinise also has been a champion for veterans and military personnel, taking part in USO tours during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

They’re bringing their star power to a noble cause Sunday night when they lead the all-star parade of entertainers who will honor those who have fallen in battle — as well as those who continue to serve with honor.

I’ll keep the tissue handy.


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