Rihanna, Metallica energize huge crowd at Veterans Day concert on National Mall

WASHINGTON (AP) — Starbucks president Howard Schultz says Veterans Day at times has been “turned into an annual weekend sale,” and that’s not what it’s about.

That’s why his company, along with HBO and Chase Corp. staged the Concert for Valor on the National Mall in Washington tonight, to raise awareness for issues affecting veterans.

Thousands of military veterans and active-duty service members turned out for the show, bouncing to Rihanna, head-banging to Metallica and cheering protest anthems from Bruce Springsteen, Dave Grohl and others.

While tickets were free, the celebrity hosts directed fans to ways they can volunteer or donate money to causes helping war veterans. Some in the audience said the gesture had symbolic importance, including one disabled Vietnam veteran who said it was the first time since his return that he’s felt honored to be back home.

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280-a-10-(Jamie Foxx, entertainer, with reporters)-“speaks across race”-Entertainer Jamie Foxx says The Concert for Valor is the right vehicle to bring awareness to issues facing vets. (11 Nov 2014)

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276-r-22-(Sound of Dave Grohl, performing at the Concert for Valor on Washington’s National Mall)–Sound of Dave Grohl performing at the Concert for Valor on Washington’s National Mall. COURTESY: HBO ((mandatory on-air credit)) (11 Nov 2014)

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279-r-30-(Sound of Carrie Underwood, performing “I Will See You Again,” at the Concert for Valor on Washington’s National Mall)–Sound of Carrie Underwood performing “I Will See You Again,” at the Concert for Valor on Washington’s National Mall. COURTESY: HBO ((mandatory on-air credit)) (11 Nov 2014)

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278-r-28-(Sound of Dave Grohl, Bruce Springsteen and Zac Brown, performing “Fortunate Son” at Concert for Valor on Washington’s National Mall)–Sound of Dave Grohl, Bruce Springsteen and Zac Brown performing “Fortunate Son” at Concert for Valor on Washington’s National Mall. COURTESY: HBO ((mandatory on-air credit)) (11 Nov 2014)

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277-r-24-(Sound of Zac Brown Band, performing at the Concert for Valor on Washington’s National Mall)–Sound of Zac Brown Band performing “Free” at the Concert for Valor on Washington’s National Mall. COURTESY: HBO ((mandatory on-air credit)) (11 Nov 2014)

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APPHOTO DCCK116: Bruce Springsteen performs on the National Mall in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014, during the Concert for Valor. The Veterans Day event is hosted by HBO, Starbucks and Chase and is free and open to the public. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) (11 Nov 2014)

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APPHOTO DCCK114: From left, Bruce Springsteen, Dave Grohl, and Zac Brown, sing on the National Mall in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014, during the Concert for Valor. The Veterans Day event is hosted by HBO, Starbucks and Chase and is free and open to the public. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) (11 Nov 2014)

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APPHOTO DCCK110: Members of the Navy Ceremonial Guard from left, Jerrod Knight, Marcus Waters and Gabriel Smith salute as Jennifer Hudson sings the National Anthem on the National Mall in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014, during the Concert for Valor. The Veterans Day event is hosted by HBO, Starbucks and Chase and is free and open to the public. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) (11 Nov 2014)

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APPHOTO DCCK122: Carrie Underwood performs with the U.S. Capitol building in the background on the National Mall in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014, during the Concert for Valor. The Veterans Day event is hosted by HBO, Starbucks and Chase and is free and open to the public. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) (11 Nov 2014)

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APPHOTO DCCK121: James Hetfield of Metallica performs on the National Mall in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014, during the Concert for Valor. The Veterans Day event is hosted by HBO, Starbucks and Chase and is free and open to the public. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) (11 Nov 2014)

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