Celebs honor veterans at the National Memorial Day concert

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Celebs Honor Veterans at the National Memorial Day Concert

A decade ago, longtime friends and avid military supporters Joe Mantegna and Gary Sinise hosted the National Memorial Day Concert for the first time.

And their 10th anniversary on the show Sunday night was just as special as the first.

"Each year, Gary and I return to host this extraordinary event in honor of those who have sacrificed so much for our country," said Joe Mantegna during the National Memorial Day Concert.

"We are here for you and your families, thank you all so much for " said Gary Sinise.

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Celebs honor veterans at the National Memorial Day concert
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 24: Former Secretary of State Colin Powell attends the 26th National Memorial Day Concert on May 24, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Capitol Concerts)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 24: Veterans attend the 26th National Memorial Day Concert on May 24, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Capitol Concerts)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 24: Actor Laurence Fishburne on stage at the 26th National Memorial Day Concert on May 24, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Capitol Concerts)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 24: Tony award-winning actress and singer Laura Benanti performs at the 26th National Memorial Day Concert on May 24, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Capitol Concerts)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 24: Actor and co-host Gary Sinise on stage at the 26th National Memorial Day Concert on May 24, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Capitol Concerts)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 24: Actors and co-hosts Gary Sinise (L) and Joe Mantegna on stage at the 26th National Memorial Day Concert on May 24, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Capitol Concerts)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 24: Gloria Estefan and Tenor Russell Watson, pose for a photo at the 26th National Memorial Day Concert on May 24, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Capitol Concerts)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 24: American Idol Season 14 winner Nick Fradiani performs at the 26th National Memorial Day Concert on May 24, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Capitol Concerts)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 24: Actor and co-host Gary Sinise on stage at the 26th National Memorial Day Concert on May 24, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Capitol Concerts)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 24: General Martin E. Dempsey, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff,Êposes for a photo with members of the Armed Forces at the 26th National Memorial Day Concert on May 24, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Capitol Concerts)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 24: General Martin E. Dempsey, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, on stage at the 26th National Memorial Day Concert on May 24, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Capitol Concerts)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 24: Gloria Estefan performs at the 26th National Memorial Day Concert on May 24, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Capitol Concerts)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 24: 'The Voice' Season 5 winner Tessanne Chin and American Idol Season 14 winner Nick FradianiÊpose for a photo at the 26th National Memorial Day Concert on May 24, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Capitol Concerts)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 24: Gloria Estefan performs at the 26th National Memorial Day Concert on May 24, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Capitol Concerts)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 24: Gloria Estefan performs at the 26th National Memorial Day Concert on May 24, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Capitol Concerts)
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Along with "American Idol" winner Nick Fradiani, Gloria Estefan, Laurence Fishburne and many other stars, Joe and Gary honored the millions of people who died in service of the United States of America.

"Oh, say can you see, by the dawn's early light," sang Nick Fradiani.

But the concert wasn't just about musical tributes. Several actors highlighted the stories of veterans who sacrificed their lives to protect our country.

We couldn't hold back tears during the moving event, and neither could many of the participants.

And those who couldn't attend the event in person at the national memorial in Washington, DC, showed their support on Twitter, saying it was a beautiful concert.

It was just as moving for the hosts. Joe told Zap2it, "When I arrived in Washington and took in the scope of just what this was, it changed my life in many ways. ... It transcended everything."

What a beautiful way to celebrate such bravery. Happy Memorial Day, everyone!

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