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WUCF honors veterans with a weekend of programming

Posted by Jennifer Cook on

This Memorial Day weekend, WUCF brings viewers an inspiring weekend of remembrance dedicated to our men and women in uniform, their families at home and all those who have given their lives for our country.

The weekend kicks off Friday night at 9 p.m. with the first-ever LINCOLN AWARDS: A CONCERT FOR THE VETERANS AND MILITARY FAMILY. The program honors veterans, their families and military support groups for their service and includes appearances from Dr. Jill Biden, Alec Baldwin, Gavin DeGraw, Nick Jonas and more.

Then at 10 p.m. Friday, join President and Mrs. Obama for an all-star tribute to the men and women who serve the United States in, A SAULTE TO THE TROOPS: IN PERFORMANCE AT THE WHITE HOUSE.

On Sunday, join WUCF for an afternoon of Veteran-related programming starting at 1 p.m. with OMAHA BEACH: HONOR AND SACRIFICE.  Hear the very personal stories of several veterans as they return to Omaha Beach and the celebration in Normandy, France that continues to this day as a result of their acts of courage and determination on June 6, 1944.

NAVY SEALS – THEIR UNTOLD STORY airs Sunday at 3 p.m.  This program recounts the ticking-clock missions of the “Commandoes of the Deep” through firsthand accounts — including that of a D-Day demolition team member — and through never-before-seen footage, home movies and personal mementoes. Admirals, master chiefs, clandestine operators, demolitioneers and snipers reveal how US Navy SEALs morphed into the world's most admired commandoes.

Sunday at 5 p.m., join WUCF for a new program, SILVER WINGS, FLYING DREAMS. The story of pioneering women, who for a brief moment in the darkest days of World War II, were able to shatter the glass ceiling and defy the stereotype that women had no place in the cockpit of military aircraft.  These surviving Women Airforce Service Pilots relive their personal wartime experiences, ferrying aircraft, flying as test and transport pilots, towing targets for anti-aircraft gunnery practice, and testing top-secret radio control aircraft, forerunners of the drones used today in 21st century warfare.

At 7 p.m., tune in for D-Day 360. D-Day was a logistical effort on a scale never seen before or since. On the day itself, 3,000 planes dropped 23,000 airborne troops behind German lines, and 7,000 ships delivered around 20,000 military vehicles along with 130,000 soldiers onto the beaches. Once on the shore, the troops had to negotiate two million mines buried in the sand, 46,000 fearsome beach obstacles and hundreds of miles of barbed wire, while dodging the shells and bullets fired by 40,000 German defenders. This film takes advantage of LiDAR technology to re-create the landscape and allow viewers to switch effortlessly between the macro and the micro — pulling back for the big picture and zooming in to a close-up of a single soldier on the battlefield.

The multi award-winning NATIONAL MEMORIAL DAY CONCERTairs live from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol at 8 p.m.  The concert, co-hosted by Tony Award-winner Joe Mantegna and Emmy Award-winner Gary Sinise, marks the 10th consecutive year that the acclaimed actors have dedicated themselves to veterans’ causes and supporting our troops in active service, co-host the event. The NATIONAL MEMORIAL DAY CONCERTwill showcase courageous American heroes who have been disabled for life; shine a spotlight on Gold Star Children who have lost a parent to war; and commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.

The all-star line-up includes distinguished American leader General Colin L. Powell USA (Ret.); seven-time Grammy Award-winner and international superstar Gloria Estefan; acclaimed film and television actress Stefanie Scott (Insidious: Chapter 3; Jem and the Holograms); “The Voice” season five winner Tessanne Chin; the world’s most prolific classical cross-over artist Katherine Jenkins; and renowned tenor Russell Watson in performance with the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of top pops conductor Jack Everly. The 26th annual broadcast airs live Sunday, May 24, 2015, 8:00 to 9:30 p.m.on PBS, before a concert audience of hundreds of thousands, millions more at home, as well as to our troops serving around the world on the American Forces Network.

THE HOMEFRONT, a new two-hour documentary about the lives of U.S. military families, will air on WUCF on Monday 9 p.m. THE HOMEFRONT, hosted by news correspondent Bob Woodruff, takes a rare, in-depth look at how a new generation of military family has learned to cope with having loved ones deployed overseas for multiple tours over many years.

WUCF also provides content online, sharing local Stories of Service from Central Florida area veterans.  Veterans can also log on to WUCF’s Veterans Coming Home website, to find area events and local resources.