President Dwight Eisenhower created the Veterans Inaugural Ball – Salute to Heroes in 1953. It’s purpose was designed to pay
Tribute to those who embody the ideals of courage, selflessness, sacrifice, responsible citizenship, patriotism, pride in the past and faith in the future – the stated ideals of the Congressional Medal of Honor Society and their members.
The Salute to Heroes Ball is a place for newly elected or re-elected presidents to pay tribute to recipients of the Medal of Honor. 34 of the 76 living recipients of this medal attended the ball this year, which was held at the Renaissance Washington, D.C. Downtown Hotel.
American Legion sponsors the ball every four years. Charles Schmidt, their National Commander said,
“It’s our way of not only serving veterans but honoring veterans. It’s very special that so many people continue to want to participate and attend this.”
The emcee of this year’s ball was comedian, actor and author Drew Carey He is presently the host of the CBS game show The Price is Right. Carey, himself is a veteran of the Marine Corps Reserves, has been a longtime supporter of military servicemembers, their families, and veterans.
Rascal Flatts lead singer Gary LeVox provided music and others included singer Janine Stange and songwriters Neil Thrasher and Wendell Mobley.
Notable guests this year included Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), newly appointed National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, Under Secretary of the Army Patrick Murphy, and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis).
After making a surprise visit to the ball, Vice-President Mike Pence announced:
“We are here tonight because we know those who are being honored this evening, the Medal of Honor recipients who are present with us. I am very humbled to be in your presence. We honor those of you in the room, and those who have come before, and have gone above and beyond. You are an inspiration to all of us. And I know you are an inspiration to our new president.”
However, the night did not proceed without controversy. The day before the ball, the Washington Post reported
Trump adviser cancels veterans’ ball, citing ‘security reasons’ — but money was an issue, too.
As we now know, this was in fact fake news. And, for some reason, they never retracted the story as it’s still posted on their website.
To make matters worse, two Gold Star family members reported being assaulted by anti-Trump protesters as they were trying to enter the veterans event. Ryan Manion wrote
We were pushed by a man in a mask hiding his face. Our clothes were drawn on with permanent marker by other ‘protesters. And we were called the most vile names I have ever heard as we entered and exited the venue.
I have friends who I love dearly on both sides of the political aisle. Let’s celebrate the differences that not only define us, but define what makes the United States of America the greatest country in the world.
We can only agree with Ms. Manion. But more likely than not, the “deplorables” will continue to do so and the intolerent leftists won’t. And that’s a shame.
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