It wasnt always that way. The Joan Of Arcadia star admits that until 2002, he, like many other Americans, figured Memorial Day was just a day for barbecues and to watch the race.
However, that changed when he first appeared at the National Memorial Day Concert in Washington, D.C.; an experience he says reminded him of the sacrifice made by the military and convinced him why we have this holiday and its not just to watch the race.
Ever since, Mantegna has kept his Memorial Day weekends free to participate in the event and, this year, hell be the emcee for the affair, replacing his friend, Ossie Davis, who died earlier this year.
The National Memorial Day Concert airs May 29 on PBS and will feature performances by Vanessa Williams, Gary Sinise, Colin Powell and Trace Adkins.
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