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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 054-99
February 09, 1999

SECRETARY AND MRS. COHEN TO HOST SPECIAL TRIBUTE TO AMERICA'S ARMED FORCES AND HEROES OF THE PAST

Secretary of Defense and Mrs. William S. Cohen will host a special tribute to the men and women of the U. S. Armed Forces at an evening performance on President's Day, Feb. 15, at 7 p.m. (EST), at Constitution Hall, Washington, D. C.

The event entitled "The Pentagon Pops" will feature a highly talented group of military musicians and vocalists from the elite Service bands. They will present an inspiring patriotic program entitled "A Musical Salute to Guardians of Freedom." The Guardians of Freedom will include patriots who served in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and the Persian Gulf War.

"This event will be an opportunity to honor those true American heroes and public servants who have distinguished themselves through their valor and unflinching loyalty to our nation in times of armed conflict," Cohen said.

The evening also is scheduled to include appearances from celebrity entertainers as they join the military performers during the tribute. Along with Secretary and Mrs. Cohen, NBC's Tom Brokaw will formally welcome guests and make introductory remarks during the planned hour and a half gala.

Among the entertainers scheduled to perform are country and western vocalist David Ball, pop singer Peabo Bryson and musical arranger Jon Carroll. Appearing with them will be the United States Army Chorale, the Navy's "Country Current," and the Air Force "Airmen of Note." The United States Marine Corps Band will perform the event's musical prelude and postlude.

A limited number of tickets are still available to the public on a first-come, first-served basis at the Will-Call Desk at Constitution Hall on the evening of the performance. As is the case for all military concerts, the tickets are offered at no cost.

This special salute show can be heard live over the Internet using the following address: http://www.connectlive.com/events/pentagonpops/. It also will be taped for distribution to U. S. troops around the world. The point of contact for press coverage for this event is Glenn Flood, (703) 695-6294.