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Became the First President to Skip an Inaugural Ball Honoring Medal of
Summary of the eRumor: A forwarded email saying that
newly elected President Barack Obama snubbed our nation's heroes by
being the first President to skip the inaugural ball honoring
Medal Of Honor recipients.
The Truth: There are many
balls and galas all throughout the Washington DC area held to celebrate
The tradition of the
Salute to Heroes Inaugural Ball began in 1953 when President Dwight
Eisenhower became the 34th President of the United States of America.
This ball recognizes recipients of the Medal of Honor, our nation's
highest military award. This is the first time since its inception that
a President has skipped this event.
The Obama Presidential
Inaugural committee planned ten balls for the evening of January 20,
2009. The balls attended by President Obama were the Neighborhood Inaugural
Ball, Commander-in-Chief's Inaugural Ball, Youth Inaugural Ball, Obama
Home States Inaugural Ball, Biden Home States Inaugural Ball, Eastern
Inaugural Ball, Mid-Atlantic Inaugural Ball, Midwest Inaugural Ball,
Southern Inaugural Ball and Western Inaugural Ball.
Some of the balls
attended by President Obama had special themes.
Commander-in-Chief's Inaugural Ball which was held in Washington DC's
National Building Museum, honored active duty and reserve
military. Among the invited guests were Purple Heart recipients,
families of fallen heroes, and spouses of deployed military.
Youth Inaugural Ball
was a celebration for those between the ages of 18 and 35 encouraging
young Americans to take an active roll in serving their communities.
President Obama became
the first president to host the “Neighborhood Inaugural Ball” in
fulfillment of his promise to make the celebration open and accessible
Obama was a no show, a World Net Daily January 24, 2009 article reported
that the American Legion's media relations manager, Craig Roberts, said
that Vice President Biden did make an appearance and was warmly
received. Roberts went on to say, "The new President's
absence was understandable considering the unprecedented logistical
challenges presented by the vastly increased number of visitors to this
inauguration and the necessary attendant security measures. The American
Legion, as an organization, does not feel offended or 'snubbed.'"
Obama's failure to
attend the Ball brought criticism in a January 25, 2009 article in the
Cleveland Leader. The article said,
"Barack Obama made a monumental mistake in declining to attend the
Salute to Heroes Inaugural Ball in favor of rubbing shoulders with
celebrities. While the American Legion states that they do not feel
snubbed or offended, plenty of America's citizens and servicemen are."
Click here for
A real example of the eRumor as it has
appeared on the Internet:
Obama Snubs Nation's Heroes, Becomes
the First President to Skip Ball Honoring Medal of Honor Recipients in
Over 50 Years
Barack Obama may have stumbled over
his words briefly during his inauguration, but he made an even bigger
blunder later Tuesday evening. The newly sworn-in President opted not to
appear at what should have been one of the most important Balls on his
agenda that evening - The Salute to Heroes Inaugural Ball.
The Salute to Heroes Inaugural Ball
was begun in 1953 for President Dwight Eisenhower's inauguration. The
event recognized recipients of the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest
military award. There were 48 Medal of Honor recipients in attendance,
who were undoubtedly disappointed by the Commander-in-Chief's failure to
show. Over the past 56 years and 14 inaugurations, no President has
skipped this event - until now.
The Salute to Heroes Inaugural Ball is
sponsored by the American Legion, and co-sponsored by 13 other veteran's
service organizations, including those such as the Paralyzed Veterans of
America and the Military Order of the Purple Heart.
Instead of attending this ball
honoring our nation's heroes, Obama was busy making stops at 10 other
official balls. Obama and his wife's first stop was at the Neighborhood
Ball. From there they went to the Home State Ball for Illinois and
Hawaii, the Commander-in-Chief Ball, the Youth Inaugural Ball, and the
Home State Ball for Delaware and Pennsylvania. They finished off the
night with brief appearances at the Mid-Atlantic, Western, Midwest,
Eastern, and Southern regional Balls.
Celebrities were a plenty at the
balls, with Stevie Wonder, Shakira, Mary. J. Blige, Faith Hill, Jay-Z,
Alicia Keys, Adam Levine, will.i.am, Sting, Mariah Carey, and Leonardo
DiCaprio in attendance at the Neighborhood Ball. In addition, the other
nine balls also featured a star-studded lineup including Kanye West and
Kid Rock at the Youth Ball, Marc Anthony at the Western Ball, and Cheryl
Crow at the Western Ball.
It was the party without all of the
celebrities that Obama skipped. The very people who he sought to have
support him during his candidacy and campaign, who have fought to
protect this country, were snubbed in favor of publicity and the
opportunity to rub shoulders - yet again - with the out-of-touch
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