Weekly TV Picks

SUNDAY, 5 p.m.

National Memorial Day Concert

PBS Before a throng on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol, actors Joe Mantegna and Gary Sinise will host this tribute to our country and the military personnel who have protected us and the cause of liberty. Erick Kunzel will direct the National Symphony Orchestra. Guests include Charles Durning, Gladys Knight, Sarah Brightman, Rodney Atkins, Gail O?Grady, Denis Leary, John Schneider, Idina Menzel and Caitlin Wachs.

MONDAY, all day

Memorial Day Shows

History International This salute to our fighting forces includes A Complete History of the Navy SEALS (8 a.m./2 p.m.), The Battle of Tripoli (10 a.m./4 p.m.), the three-part Battle History of the U.S. Marines (11 a.m./5 p.m., 12 p.m./6 p.m., 1 p.m./7 p.m.) and the premiere of the three-part Hero Ships, with USS Arizona (8 p.m.), USS Enterprise (9 p.m.) and LST 325 (10 p.m.). Advisory: Scenes of war.

MONDAY, 12 noon

Archdiocese for the Military Services: Memorial Day Mass

EWTN Celebrating Mass will be Archbishop Timothy Broglio, who heads the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA. Two hours.


Memorial Day Movies

Turner Classic Movies, American Movie Classics At 2 p.m., TCM presents Since You Went Away (1944), a moving portrait of home front life in World War II that features Claudette Colbert, Jennifer Jones and Shirley Temple (TV-G). At 8 p.m., AMC honors our troops? sacrifices with the 1962 star-studded D-Day epic The Longest Day, scripted by Cornelius Ryan and based on his nonfiction book of the same title (TV-PG).


Commitment: Key to Christian Maturity

Familyland TV This show?s title is that of a book, subtitled Discovering God through Faithfulness to Our Daily Commitments, by Dr. Susan Muto and the late Spiritan Father Adrian van Kaam. At 12 a.m. Tuesdays and 10:30 p.m. Thursdays, the program tells us how to make not just a promise but a lasting commitment in our Catholic spiritual life.


Great Performances: Maestro: Portrait of Valery Gergiev

PBS The Russian conductor and opera director Gergiev heads the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg and holds other top posts in the USA and Europe.

FRIDAY, live

The 2008 Scripps National Spelling Bee

ESPN, ABC Parochial and homeschool kids always do well in this contest. At 11 a.m., ESPN will air the preliminary championship rounds and at 8 p.m. ABC will broadcast the final rounds. Last year?s winner was homeschooler Evan O?Dorney, 13, of California.

Dan Engler writes from
Santa Barbara, California.