Obama Became the First President to Skip an Inaugural Ball Honoring Medal of Honor Recipients–Truth!
Summary of 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.
There are many balls and galas all throughout the Washington DC area held to celebrate presidential inaugurations.
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.
The 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 to Americans.
Although President 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.'” Click for article
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 article