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Daughtry to open at star-studded Memorial Day concert

Saturday - 5/26/2012, 6:13pm  ET

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Kathy Stewart, wtop.com

WASHINGTON - It's as American as baseball and apple pie, but when it comes to patriotism, the National Memorial Day concert is off the charts.

The show kicks off Sunday at 8 p.m., but it was rehearsal time on Saturday.

On the West Lawn Capitol, the rock band Daughtry was first up. The group will be playing the opening song at Sunday's star-studded event. Daughtry will play its hit song "Home" as a way to welcome home the troops.

Sunday will be a night of remembrance, says Michael Colbert, the show's producer.

"This is the real meaning of Memorial Day," he says.

The show is a tribute to those who've paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom, our fallen heroes.

"If you will, it's the memorial service for the nation as much as it is the national concert."

This is the show's 23rd year.

"It's time for us to come together to thank those who have served," says Colbert. Adding it's also a way to thank the families who have sacrificed.

Actors Gary Sinise and Joe Mantegna will again this year be hosting the concert. American Idol's Jessica Sanchez will sing the national anthem and other performers include country music super star Trace Adkins and nine-time Grammy winner Natalie Cole.

The concert airs on PBS Sunday from 8 to 9:30 p.m.

If you are planning to head to the concert, gates open at 5 p.m.

Through the American Forces Network, nearly one million American military members, DoD civilians and their families overseas can watch this tribute live.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)