Streets filled with tons of people in route to the highly anticipated “Free” Concert For Valor. There were Vets, Soldiers, men, women, and even children ready to celebrate and honor the troops all over the world. There was laughter, there were screams, and there were plenty of delighted people from the smell of the food trucks lined up on the way to the concert. Groups of girls chattering about the anticipation for Rihanna’s performance and there were some old timers raving about the live and electrified Metallica.
Yesterday, November 11, 2014, The Nation’s Capital, Washington DC and HBO hosted one of the biggest celebrations in honor of the men and women who have served The United States. HBO partnered with a few companies like Starbucks, USTREAM and iHeartRadio to put this show together. Although this event was a concert of celebration, it was also a major support effort, from the social media hashtag to the donation contributions, The Concert For Valor was viral worldwide.
Archaleus Leonard, 81 year old veteran served for the United States Army from 1953 to 1955 during the Korean War. “Certainly times have changed, I can see the confusion in your face when you realized I only served for two years,” said Leonard. He was headed to the concert with his grandchildren, who had “dragged” him out of the house to come. Each of them sharing similar music anticipating Eminem, Rihanna, and Bruce Springsteen’s performances.
The crowd roared, the energy was intense and the actual show multiplied the noise by a thousand. People had been lining up from early on in the day and even the late comers had their blankets laid out on the field ready for the show to begin. Groups of people taking pictures, or what is known as an “usie,” and then you had the actual “selfies” too. Social media probably captured some great moments for about 18 hours yesterday from the fans, the artists, to the soldiers, everyone has fun with hashtags.
As it seemed, Rihanna may have been there by popular demand. Her Navy stands strong where ever she goes, her fans go nuts for her. But this concert line up was star studded from A to Z and so was the list of MCs. What more could anyone ask for out of a FREE concert? Eminem, Metallica, George Lopez, Carrie Underwood, Jack Black, the list goes on. The on screen special guest was full of some of the greatest to ever do it, Oprah Winfrey, Will Smith, Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg, and Reese Witherspoon. This select few assisted with some of the greatest to ever do it, but on the other side of life.
These tributes were some of the more memorable moments honoring the Vets and Active Duty Soldiers. Each being honored for their commendable, outstanding, and tear jerking stories. Each story is was different and each story touched another in a different way. Some a lot closer to home than others, some even inspiring. Nonetheless, the purpose of the entire show was to support and celebrate the lives of those fighting for their country.