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The National Mall hosted the Concert for Valor to honor veterans on Tuesday, drawing a crowd of over 800,000 people.

The event, sponsored by Starbucks and broadcast live by HBO, featured performances by Jennifer Hudson, Dave Grohl, the Black Keys, Metallica, Zac Brown Band, Bruce Springsteen, Rihanna and Eminem. Other celebrities, including Jamie Foxx, Meryl Streep and Bryan Cranston, appeared as well, thanking veterans for their service and, in Cranston’s case, sharing his family’s relationship with the military.

Attendees began lining up at the Seventh Street NW entrance well before police began letting people onto the Mall at 10 a.m., though the concert did not start until 7 p.m. Around 12,000 tickets were set aside for members of the military, who were situated right in front of the stage.The crowd stretched from the stage near the Capitol building to the Washington Monument.

Students who attended were awed by both the celebrities and the patriotism at the concert.

“There were a lot of people there, but they had a lot of screens and speakers so everyone could hear and enjoy the music,” Bianca DiSanto (MSB ’17) said. “I don’t think I’ve ever been in a more patriotic crowd.”

After each set, a short video would play on the screens to tell the stories of specific veterans.

“The story that resonated the most with me was the story of a veteran, Cedric King, who had both of his legs blown off, and he decided afterward to become a triathlete. He completed an Ironman competition. His story touched a lot of people,” Haley Florsheim (SFS ’18) said.

Though he was not interested in all the artists performing, Will Wrotniak (SFS ’18) praised the event as a must-see.

“I went because I wanted to see Bruce, to be honest,” Wrotniak said. “But more importantly, I thought it was an opportunity I couldn’t miss. Those are the experiences that make college. You’re going to look back 40 years after and say, ‘I went to that concert, and it was awesome.’”

Hoya Staff Writer Tom Garzillo contributed reporting.

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