(Editor’s Note: The following appeared on the Gary Sinise Foundation website last week. Junell Lofthus is a 1965 graduate of Winthrop High School and the daughter of Margaret Lofthus.) by Brandon Black The National Memorial Day Concert in Washington, D.C., has become a time-honored tradition since its inception in 1989. The daylong festivities celebrate and honor the service and sacrifices of the nation’s Armed Forces and its veterans from conflicts past and present. Held on the West Lawn of the United States Capitol Building the day before Memorial Day, live musical performances complement a series of documentary films and raw footage that reveal an unadulterated look into the experiences of war and its effects on both the warfighter and families at home. Broadcast by PBS nationwide to millions of Americans, it is rivaled only by the pageantry and theatrics displayed on Independence Day in the nation’s capital. In 2005, just as she had done in years before, Junell Lofthus watched the National Memorial Day Concert from the comfort of her home in Edina, a suburb in Minneapolis, Minnesota. “I’ve been a patriot all my life, and I always, always watch the National Memorial Day Concert,” said Lofthus.
For the complete story, check out the April 1 issue of the Winthrop News.