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Giving Thanks: Celebrating Veterans and Those Who Serve with Tenor Anthony Kearns, CBS' Nikole Killion, Others
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Nov 21, 2023, 1:00 PM ET
VIP Lineup Included Medal of Honor Recipient, Colonel Paris D. Davis + More!
Mr. Kearns was joined by Nikole Killion, CBS Congressional Correspondent, who served as Emcee; Medal of Honor Recipient Colonel Paris Davis (U.S. Army, Ret.) and ex-POW Colonel Mike Brazelton (U.S.A.F., Ret.); Lt. General G.I. Tuck (U.S.A.F., Ret.), Members of Congress, and others.
“Tonight, we have a brief, powerful program with one of the great tenors of our time to help us pay tribute to those who served and serve, in uniform and in public office, and to those who help them heal in the aftermath,” Killion said. Killion also acknowledged from several service organizations, including Rick Yount of The Warrior Canine Connection and Matt Cary, a Vietnam veteran, of the Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes.
The formal program included a Missing Man Table, a reminder of those who have been left behind – including more than 81,000 missing Americans, of which nearly 1,600 are unaccounted-for from the Vietnam War. Colonel Brazelton was honored for his sacrifice after being shot down during his 120th combat mission. He was held captive for nearly seven years.
Mr. Kearns, who has become known as "Washington's favorite tenor," dedicated the song, "Bring Him Home" from the musical, Les Misérables, to the 50th anniversary of the return of Brazelton and other American Prisoners of War from Vietnam to thunderous applause.
Kearns said, “It was an honor to participate in an event that shines a light on American veterans who gave, and are still actively giving, their best to defend our collective freedoms.” Kearns, a member of the PBS super-group, The Irish Tenors, has performed for four U.S. Presidents, three Speakers of the House, and with the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Ms. Killion said she was especially pleased to recognize Medal of Honor Recipient Paris Davis, who was deployed to Vietnam in 1962 and again in 1965, making him one of the first African American Special Forces officers as the civil rights movement gained momentum at home.
Colonel Davis received his Medal of Honor by President Joseph Biden for his actions on June 18, 1965, where he commanded a team of inexperienced South Vietnamese, along with Special Forces Soldiers, against a superior enemy force. He sustained multiple gunshot and grenade fragment wounds during the 19-hour battle and refused to leave the battlefield until his men were safely removed, ultimately solidifying his title as a true American hero.
Other V.I.P. guests included Jim Hooker, who was assigned to a top-secret joint unconventional warfare task force created by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and U.S. Air Force Retired and current CEO of Robbins-Gioia, Lt. General G.I. Tuck.
“It is important for Veterans to serve in public office. Our common bond of military service allows for bipartisanship, which we desperately need. Our National Defense Strategy resourcing depends on Congress working together…critical to our nation’s defense and future,” Lt. Gen. Tuck said.
Rep. Jim Baird (R-IN), a decorated Vietnam veteran who was proud to fight among America’s finest from all over the USA, said that his fellow soldiers were “every bit as good as their predecessors and those that have followed,” and he is glad America continues to support its veterans and active-duty service members.
“It’s also very gratifying and important to see members of Congress who served in uniform help shape foreign policy and share their expertise with those fighting in theater,” said Baird, a House Foreign Affairs Committee member.
Baird was joined by U.S. Representatives Ronny Jackson (TX, Member of the House Committee on Armed Services and Committee on Foreign Affairs), Cory Mills (FL, Member of the House Committee on Armed Services and Committee on Foreign Affairs), Nathaniel Moran (FL, Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs), Keith Self (TX, Member of the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and Committee on Foreign Affairs), and Derrick VanOrden (WI, Member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs).
To read more, please visit the following link: https://www.broadwayworld.com/washington-dc/article/2023-Annual-Bipartisan-Tribute-To-Veterans-And-Those-Who-Serve-Featured-Tenor-Anthony-Kearns-CBS-Nikole-Killion-Members-Of-Congress-Others-20231107
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Tenor Anthony Kearns sings "O' America" at veterans' tribute hosted by America Salutes You
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