President Dwight David Eisenhower, no stranger to the military or to honor, started the Salute to Heroes Inaugural Ball 56 years ago when I was just a tad. Every President since has put in an inaugural appearance there until this year.
Our new CINC attended quite a few gatherings last night, but... the Salute To Heroes Inaugural Ball was not one of them. For the first time in 56 years, a newly-inaugurated president has not attended the ball begun by President Eisenhower. 14 presidents later, a snub.
Go check it out over there- FORTY-EIGHT MoH recipients were in attendance. People- that's HALF of the recipients that are still alive, and darn well nearly all that are physically able to attend events.
Half the living Medal of Honor recipients were there to get a glimpse of their new Commander-in-Chief. You'll know, if you've been following the Medal of Honor recipients that we honor here weekly, some of those men aren't "spring chickens" (actually, having received The Medal, they're no chickens at all! ) and some still suffer from the wounds they received in combat. Some of them may not be around for the next inaugural, when we can only hope that the next President sworn in takes a moment to remember who kept this country free enough to have elections!
The LA Times, on Presidential appearances:
The real draw of the official balls is that the first couple are obligated to appear. Season after season, whether there are five (Kennedy’s) or 14 (Clinton’s second inaugural), they show up. But do the math: Their stay at each ball is, by necessity, fleeting—a matter of minutes. They walk onstage, they wave hello, the president says something moderately funny, maybe they dance briefly, then they wave goodbye.(emphasis mine)
One dullard on another blog, tried to give the lame excuse that Obama "wasn't Santa Claus" (only he couldn't even spell that right!), so he couldn't be everywhere at once! Funny! It never stopped any of the other fourteen presidents from putting in an appearance! Even Bill Clinton.
It occurred to me just a little while ago, that Clinton had just as many balls to attend as Obama. How sad a commentary is it when you fall behind Bill Clinton in respecting the military?