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Tenor Anthony Kearns Headlines Fifth Annual Holiday Veterans Tribute In Washington, DC


Mr. Kearns serenaded a packed house with patriotic, classic Irish music, and popular songs such as "God Bless America," "Bird Songs at Eventide," and more.

Tenor Anthony Kearns Headlines Fifth Annual Holiday Veterans Tribute In Washington, DC

World-renowned tenor Anthony Kearns wrapped up his 2021 two-month U.S. tour as the featured performer at the 5th annual "Holiday Veterans Tribute and Songs of the Season" reception on Dec. 14, 2021 at the Capitol Hill Club in Washington, D.C.

White House Correspondent Kevin Corke (Fox, CBS, ESPN) served as Master of Ceremonies, with four-star General Chuck Wald (USAF, Retired) offering remarks as the headline speaker.

"[Tonight] we celebrate with one of the world's most famed tenors, Anthony Kearns, as we pay tribute to those who fight our wars - and those who help them heal in the aftermath," Mr. Corke said.

Mr. Kearns serenaded a packed house with patriotic, classic Irish music, and popular songs such as "God Bless America," "Bird Songs at Eventide," "Kitty of Coleraine," and "Time to Say Good-bye," as well as Christmas classics like "Hark the Herald Angels Sing," "O Holy Night," "Silent Night," "Silver Bells," and "White Christmas." Kearns was accompanied by Taylor Armstrong of the United States Air Force Band.

Following several standing ovations, the audience welcomed an encore which included "Over the Rainbow." The reception went long into the night - a fitting tribute to U.S. veterans and an exceptional performance by Kearns. Kearns said of the evening, "I was grateful to have the opportunity to honor America's military (active duty and veterans), particularly here, in Washington D.C."

General Wald, who previously served as deputy commander of U.S. Forces in Europe (EUCOMM), and now co-chairs the Bipartisan Policy Center's National Security Program, stressed the importance of reaching across the aisle. "Ultimately, military service is a unifying bond in Congress that help our politicians cross party lines to do what needs to be done," he said.

Special guests included Dean of the House, U.S. Congressman Don Young (R-Alaska), the most senior member of the House of Representatives, and John Boerstler, Chief Veterans Experience Officer, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, both of whom spoke eloquently.

"Serving one's nation is one of life's highest callings. Shortly after the Korean War, I served in the United States Army. During that time, I saw my fellow servicemembers standing up to protect our country and our right to self-determination. These values truly make America the land of the free - where we can choose to prosper and better ourselves. I will never forget the sacrifice of generations of the brave men and women who sacrificed for our way of life," said Representative Young.

Matt Cary, President of the National Democratic Club and Vice Chairman of the Coalition to Salute America's Heroes, and John Magill, President of the Capitol Hill Club, were among the special guests. The nonprofit Coalition to Salute America's Heroes enjoys an outsized influence in proportion to its modest resources - and gets high marks from charity rating groups. It is one of a very few groups that provide direct financial aid to wounded warriors - from helping them meet house payments to checks at Thanksgiving and Christmas to help them enjoy the holidays.

Rear Admiral Eric C. Jones, USCG, Assistant Commandant for Human Resources (CG-1), and Captain Jerome Hinson, CHP, USN, Deputy Chaplain, U.S. Marine Corps, also participated in the program.

Some of the more popular guests included beautiful Labrador Service Dogs - "Bea," "Ann," and "Florence" - and their human handlers. Warrior Canine Connection brings veterans and service dogs together to support them on the home front.

"For the members of our Armed Forces and veterans, remembering also those valiant animals who serve alongside them: Defend them day by day with your heavenly grace; strengthen them in their trials and temptations; give them courage to face the perils which beset them; and grant them a sense of your abiding presence wherever they may be," said Captain Hinson in his invocation.

Captain Miles Kirwin of the storied "Fighting 69th" Army Regiment (NY) spoke about the Alpha Company's upcoming deployment to East Africa. The Fighting 69th Regiment is one of oldest regiments in the United States, able to trace its history back to the American Revolution and the Civil War.

Together with Honorary Colonel James Tierney and Master Blender Chris Leskowicz, Kirwin led the 69th's "Regimental Toast" with Fighting 69th Irish Whiskey and a splash of champagne enjoyed by all.

The evening also included hospitality by Beer Institute, the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, NBWA, and Wine Institute.

Beyond his career with The Irish Tenors, Kearns has become known as "Washington's favorite tenor" - having performed for four U.S. Presidents, three Speakers of the House, and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and others. He launched his 2021 tour at a special event honoring U.S.-Irish partnerships hosted by Irish Ambassador to the U.S., Daniel Mulhall, on October 21.

"This annual event was a splendid time to thank those who have defended our freedoms," said event organizer and Kearns' publicist Kirsten Fedewa

Ms. Fedewa noted that the spectacular evening was "a just tribute to all those who have served, with so much emotion. Kevin Corke did a masterful job as emcee, as Anthony Kearns' stunning vocals lit up the room with holiday cheer."

All in attendance left with spirits lifted as the 5th Annual "Holiday Veterans Tribute and Songs of the Season" was a fitting way to honor the nation's veterans.

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