Actor Gary Sinise performs concert for Washington Navy Yard empl - New York News

Actor Gary Sinise performs concert for Washington Navy Yard employees

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WASHINGTON -

A special concert was held honoring the victims of the Navy Yard shootings Tuesday night.

Their lives were turned upside down back in September when a gunman walked into a Washington Navy Yard building and killed a dozen people.

Actor and humanitarian Gary Sinise, a big supporter of the U.S. military, says he wanted this to be a night of joy and remembrance with all military families invited.

Sinise calls his 12-member group The Lt. Dan Band, a tip of the hat to the role he made famous in “Forest Gump.” Sinise and his band performed in concert at DAR Constitution Hall in a tribute to the Washington Navy Yard shooting victims, survivors and their families.

“When you go through something like that, I think it can be a healing thing to know that there are people out there that appreciate what you’re going through and want to help you through those difficult times,” said Sinise. “So what we’re doing here tonight is just try to give everybody an opportunity to just take a breath and have some joy.”

“It’s an honor for Gary Sinise to invite all the Navy Yard families to come and celebrate and to smile and laugh,” said Wanda Wallace, sister of one of the Navy Yard shooting victims.

In the audience were three women who lost a sister that terrible September morning. Sylvia Frasier was 53 years old from Waldorf, Md. She was one of 12 people shot dead at the Navy Yard on September 16. Three others were wounded in the gunfire.

“Every day is different, every day we are pressing through with good memories of Sylvia,” said Wendy Edmonds.

The concert is sponsored by the USO.

“I think this is really encouraging for the families and it’s something that was needed,” said Joyce Barren-Altenback, whose husband works at the Navy Yard. “You need something good, something nice to happen after everything that took place.”

“We are a family,” said Ray Mabus, Secretary of the Navy. “A Navy and Marine Corps family. We’ve been through something horrible. We will remember those we lost. We will honor them and we will hold their families tight to us as long as time goes on.”

Navy officials say a joint recovery task force is still working with Navy Yard employees. And that a decision is still to be made about when to reopen Building 197, the site of the mass shooting.

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