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Honoring Memorial Day
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Memorial Day Programs from PBS North Carolina

Stories of Service & Sacrifice

In a state filled with service members, veterans and military families, we know many of our neighbors have experienced profound loss due to war. We celebrate the ideals that those who serve our country uphold, reflect on their contributions and offer support to loved ones they left behind. In honor of Memorial Day, we share these special stories to commemorate their service and sacrifices.

National Memorial Day Concert

Tune in to the annual broadcast of our national night of remembrance. The multi-award-winning event honors the military service of those in uniform, their families and those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

Watch Sunday, 5/29, 8 PM and 9:30 PM on PBS NC, and Monday, 5/30, 8 PM and 9:30 PM on Explorer Channel.
Stream online or on the PBS Video App.

Watch the Preview | 2022 National Memorial Day Concert

Watch the Preview | 2022 National Memorial Day Concert

The Lafayette Escadrille: The Americans Who Flew for France in World War I

This two-part documentary shares the story of our country’s first combat aviators and chronicles the toll they paid.

Watch Monday, 5/30, 2 PM on PBS NC.
Stream online or on the PBS Video App.

North Carolina Connection

A charter member of the Lafayette Escadrille was Kiffin Yates Rockwell, who spent time in Asheville and attended Asheville High School. Rockwell first served in the French Foreign Legion, then became one of the earliest pilots to participate in combat aviation. Rockwell was killed in combat in 1916.

Another member was James Rogers McConnell, who lived Carthage with his family for some time. After war started in Europe, he joined the American Ambulance Corps and then the aviation training program. He flew with the Lafayette Escadrille before being killed in action in 1917.

Other North Carolina aviators served in France under various French units known collectively as the Lafayette Flying Corps.

Sources: NCpedia, NC Department of Natural & Cultural Resources, The Pilot and DocSouth.

Watch Now | Episode 1

Memphis Belle: Her Final Mission

This hour-long documentary tells the story of two teams bound by their love of the WWII plane the Memphis Belle: the crew who flew her into combat and the restoration team that returned her to her former glory six decades later. 

Watch Monday, 5/30, 4 PM on PBS NC.
Stream online or on the PBS Video App.

North Carolina Connection

Memphis Belle pilot Robert Morgan was born and raised in Asheville. He flew in Europe, toured the US to promote war bonds, then served in the Pacific theater with a new B-29.

Source: NCpedia

Watch Now | Memphis Bell: Her Final Mission

Elvis and the USS Arizona 

How one of music’s biggest icons, Elvis Presley, helped to establish a memorial for the USS Arizona, the battleship that was destroyed in the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. Presley’s fundraising concert in 1961 galvanized efforts to finish the memorial as it stands today.

Watch Monday, 5/30, 5 PM on PBS NC.
Stream online or on the PBS Video App.

Watch Now | Elvis and the USS Arizona

They Volunteered for This: Merrill’s Marauders

Narrated by former news anchor Tom Brokaw, this hour-long film focuses on one of World War II’s most heroic yet least talked about units: “Merrill’s Marauders,” who fought in Burma under General Frank Merrill. The Marauders, volunteers who specialized in “hit and run” tactics in the jungles and mountains of Burma, received the Congressional Gold Medal in 2020.

Watch Monday, 5/30, 10 PM on PBS NC.
Stream online or on the PBS Video App.

Watch Now | They Volunteered For This: Merrill's Marauders

The War

The story of the Second World War is told through the personal accounts of a handful of men and women from four American towns. The war touched the lives of every family on every street in every town in the US and demonstrated that in extraordinary times, there are no ordinary lives.

Stream online or on the PBS Video App.

A Necessary War

Watch Now Only with PBS NC Passport
1 / 7 Videos
A Necessary War
The War
A Necessary War
When Things Get Tough
The War
When Things Get Tough
A Deadly Calling
The War
A Deadly Calling
Pride of our Nation
The War
Pride of our Nation
FUBAR
The War
FUBAR
The Ghost Front
The War
The Ghost Front
A World Without War
The War
A World Without War

The Great Escape: The True Story

On March 24, 1944, a mass escape of Allied soldiers from the German prisoner of war camp Stalag Luft III was set into motion. This three-part documentary looks at one of World War II’s most audacious acts of survival and defiance with never-before-seen photographs and documents.

Stream online or on the PBS Video App.

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