Memorial Day is nearly here. To most Americans, the holiday has come to mean a long weekend marking the beginning of Summer. In truth, it's a day we set aside specifically to remember all those who have given their lives to protect our freedom.
This week is shaping up to be one of our busiest ever, so I'd like to take a moment to call your attention to a few events the Gary Sinise Foundation and I are participating in.
On Thursday, I'll be in Martinsville, VA to perform with the Lt. Dan Band as part of a fundraiser for Cpl. JB Kerns. The proceeds of the concert will benefit the construction of his new Smart Home.
Then on Friday, we'll travel to Charlottesville, VA to perform at ParadeRest. ParadeRest helps dedicated communities work together to welcome home and express their gratitude to local military personnel, veterans, and their families through tickets to entertainment, arts and sports events. It's a wonderful organization.
Not missing a beat, on Saturday the band and I will be headlining CAMMO's 2012 Tribute to Rolling Thunder, the 25th Anniversary Motorcycle Ride for Freedom in Washington D.C. The show starts at noon on May 26th and is open to the public.
On Sunday evening, I'll once again join my good friend and fellow Chicagoan, Joe Mantegna, to host the 7th annual National Memorial Day Concert. It will broadcast live on PBS this Sunday from 8pm-9:30pm EST.
And finally, on Monday, it will again be my privilege to participate in the National Memorial Day Parade. Last year, it was my great honor to serve as the parade's Grand Marshal. Check out this clip below--
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/embed/QquT8Ql2_fM" class="embedly-card" data-card-width="100%" data-card-controls="0">Embedded content: https://www.youtube.com/embed/QquT8Ql2_fM</a>
It's going to be a busy week but can't think of a better way to spend this important holiday. Showing my appreciation to our nation's heroes has fulfilled my life in ways I never expected. There is an important reason our nation set aside this day to show our gratitude and to honor incredible sacrifices made every day by our men and women in uniform. They provide our freedom and we can never take that freedom, or where it comes from, for granted.
So as you plan your first cookout of the season and share time with your loved ones, I urge you all to remember the reason we celebrate Memorial Day. Thank a veteran. Thank their family. Shake their hand. Make an effort to ensure they are appreciated. And not just on Monday, but every day. It will mean the world for them to know their service is recognized.
God bless you all.