National Memorial Day Concert 2020 in Washington

National Memorial Day Concert
U.S. Department of Defense

The National Memorial Day Concert in Washington honors those who have served in the military, their families, and those who have given the ultimate sacrifice.

Due to the current stay-at-home measures taken in light of the pandemic, the 2020 concert will still take place, via livestream only for spectators. The information below pertains to event details of the past year's event, but you can find up-to-date information about the streaming, performance schedule, and other details on the PBS website here.

It's broadcast on live on PBS and the American Forces Radio and Television Network for those serving around the world in hundreds of countries and aboard Navy ships at sea. It will also be live-streamed on, Facebook, and YouTube.

The concert, performed by the National Symphony Orchestra, features a mix of dramatic readings, documentary footage, and live musical performances, along with an all-star line-up of dignitaries, actors, and musical artists. This free annual event (no tickets are required) is held on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol Building and kicks off the summer season in the nation's capital at 8 p.m. on Sunday, May 26, 2019. Gates open at 5 p.m.; all must enter through a metal detector, and all bags will be checked. The concert airs live on PBS across the country from 8 to 9:30 p.m. EDT.

How to Get There

The best way to get to the Capitol is to take the Metro since traffic will be heavy, some streets will be closed, and parking limited. The closest Metro stations to the concert site are Federal Center SW (Orange and Blue Line) and Union Station (Red Line). Access to the concert is located at the southwest corner of the Capitol grounds. There are two public entrances to the West Lawn of the Capitol: the north (Senate) side of Capitol Square at Third Street NW and Pennsylvania Avenue NW, and the south (House) side of Capitol Square at Third Street SW and Maryland Avenue SW. 

Memorial Day 2019 Highlights

The concert honors all who have served. This year, performers include the National Symphony Orchestra of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and many military bands including the U.S. Army Herald Trumpets, the official fanfare ensemble for the President of the United States. The U.S. Army Chorus, the U.S. Navy Band Sea Chanters, The Singing Sergeants or the official chorus of the U.S. Air Force, and the Soldiers’ Chorus of The United States Army Field Band of Washington, D.C. will all perform as well.

Celebrity Appearances

This year, actor and humanitarian Gary Sinise will appear in the concert, along with actor Joe Mantegna and conductor Jack Everly.

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