American Legion Acknowledges That Obama Failed to Attend the Salute to Heroes Inaugural Ball

Barack Obama became the first U.S. president to skip out on the Salute to Heroes Inaugural Ball since its inception in 1953. The event recognizes recipients of the military's highest award - the Medal of Honor - and as The Cleveland Leader previously reported, over the past 56 years and 14 inaugurations, no President has failed to appear at this event until now. Following the breaking of this news, there have been some misconceptions and erroneous information floating around. The American Legion, one of the main sponsors of the Salute to Heroes Inaugural Ball, issued a statement making it clear once and for all that Barack Obama did not in fact attend the event.

Craig Roberts, Media Relations Manager for the American Legion, issued the following statement:

The American Legion, as it has on every inauguration evening since 1953, hosted the Salute to Heroes Inaugural Banquet & Ball on January 20th. The quadrennial event is co-sponsored with fourteen veterans service and military service organizations and honors recipients of the Medal of Honor. Forty-seven of these heroes attended this year’s event which was held in the Renaissance Washington DC Hotel.

President Obama was invited but did not attend. Vice-President Joe Biden did appear, however, and was very warmly received. 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 did make appearances at 10 official balls on January 20, including the Neighborhood Ball, 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. He and his wife Michelle finished up the evening with brief appearances at the Mid-Atlantic, Western, Midwest, Easter, and Southern Regional Balls.

The Commander-in-Chief Ball, as some have falsely insinuated, is not the same as the Salute to Heroes Inaugural Ball. The Veteran's Ball, which had been cancelled after the event's organizer disappeared, is also not to be confused with the event honoring Medal of Honor recipients.

The Salute to Heroes Inaugural Ball did take place at the Renaissance Washington DC Hotel on January 20, 2009. 47 Medal of Honor recipients were in attendance at the event. The President traditionally attends, as does the Vice President and other dignitaries. Vice President Joe Biden did attend, but President Obama did not.

Instead, Barack Obama chose to be in the company of Kanye West, Beyonce, Jay-Z, Kid Rock, Stevie Wonder, Mary. J. Blige, Usher, Faith Hill, Alicia Keys, Adam Levine, Shakira, will.i.am, Samuel L. Jackson, Sting, Mariah Carey, Leonardo DiCaprio, Sheryl Crow and Marc Anthony, amongst numerous other celebrities in attendance at the balls he did appear at.

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.

Comments

This is not an oversight by BO, there is NO EXCUSE! I believe it is his first of many "official messages" to our Military and our Veterans in general and to those who received the Medal of Honor for their service to our Country.

Of course, to have 47 Medal of Honor Recipients in the same room with many additional Veterans probably would have made BO "uncomfortable." He did NOT serve our Country through Military Service. He was too busy building the Democrat Socialist Party Movement in Illinois, teaching ACORN how to pad voter registrations, and having social sessions with Ayers.

He has spent millions of dollars hiding legal documents that would prove what both is grandmothers said about his birth. He can't seem to explain what country gave him a passport to visit Pakistan in 1986 when American Citizens were prohibited from doing so. (BO was not even close to being a diplomat or official - can't use that excuse)

The way I see it is that until such proof is presented ALL BILLS and EXEC ORDERS signed by BO are NOT VALID.

I am a wounded soldier and I do not offended by this "snub" whatsoever.
This is the first time I have ever responded to one of these things. But this is just so annoying, I couldn't help it. Get a grip! Get over yourself!
I am ready to move and get the country going. Quit reading conspiracy theories and read something else. It will help bring your blood pressure down and keep you more sane.
I am more worried about what the new administration will do for us. Hiring Shinseki is more of proof of how veterans will be treated than by propaganda like this.
Did you notice that the author of this article wasn't even listed?

A country that does not honor it's heros is not worth moving for. It's not worth getting going for. A man who leads in the wrong direction will not stay a leader for long. Only idiots would follow such a leader. Be thankful there are some left, who do honor our heros both standing and fallen. Obama is not such a man. He has heros, is evident and he honors his heros many times over. His heros don't wear uniforms. But, he does not honor heros that provided the security under which his heros could do heroic deeds. Therefore, Obama is my leader in name only. So you get going... NOT ME!

Yes you do need to get a grip guy. This kind of belly aching will only hurt America. The more important issue for us veterans is what has been done and thats the placement of a great Secretary. The majority of us don't worry about things like that; ask the individuals who hosted the ball. Better yet go on line and find out more about the situation if you have time to waste. There are a lot more important issues at hand trust me. In order to make a change (to satisfy yourself) seek out your elected officials not this forum. These silly insults on one another especially the one you made above seem so adolescent. I can't believe how torn America has become over an election. We still have our other branches of government if you're that concerned or distraught over this election. Please...it was a ball that was probably a security risk the Secret Service did not want to take.

I appreciate your service, but your rosy view of the Democrat party's opinion of veterans and the military is far removed from reality. From age 17 in 1967 to age 58 I was in the military one way or another. I began as a cadet, went on active duty during the Vietnam War (but was not deployed overseas), served 10 years in the Air Force, then four years in the Air Force Reserve before moving into the Army National Guard and Army Reserve for the final decades. I was in Iraq caring for our troops in a hospital in the combat zone for Desert Shield & Desert Storm and was activated for a year for Iraqi Freedom, caring for our troops in the COMMZ. I have served as a consultant to the Surgeons General. In short, I've been around and will continue to be around. I have been in good position to observe the attitudes toward the military of the two political parties. During my tenure in the military all Democrat administrations have been unfriendly to the military with noticeable decline in support for training, maintenance, development and recruitment. The result has always been a completely scary decrease in combat readiness. Why has this not been in the news? There are three reasons. The first and most important is that military officers salute the commander in chief and march on, no matter what hare-brained idea he has just imposed. To paraphrase a line from Heartbreak Ridge, “We adapt, we improvise, we overcome.” The second is that the national media hate us worse than do the Democrats and are not interested in informing the public that the national security has just been compromised by somebody who’d rather hobnob with Leonardo than with General Schwarzkopf. The third is that the public really doesn’t want to know that the guy who just moved down the street has a satellite phone with Obama and Osama on speed dial and slips through the cracks every day because the NSA can’t violate his civil rights.
Obama is an intelligent, articulate and physically attractive man who would never have been elected president if he weren’t also African-American. No citizen of the United States would have seriously considered voting for a white man with his resume. Throughout his life he has been the beneficiary of being in the right place with the right skin color at the right time in history. He has never made a hard decision in his life. Maybe he can, but I personally doubt it based on his track record in the first few days of his presidency. His lack of understanding of the executive orders he has just signed, their impact, or even how they were to be implemented should have had everyone saying “Oh My God! He didn’t write these. He doesn’t even know what’s in them.” Right now he is a marionette dancing to the directions of the DNC. Maybe he’ll grow a backbone, but I doubt it.
The bottom line for Democrats is that Democrat administrations get soldiers killed unnecessarily. During my military tenure Carter did it (I voted for him), Clinton did it (I didn’t vote for him having learned from the Carter experience) and now Obama will do it. You can’t conserve a resource you don’t respect.
The bottom line for President Obama is that you may respect him and I may respect his office, but he respects neither one of us. His not attending the Hero’s Ball is at the very least a demonstration of the low esteem he has for his military. Your comment about security is a ludicrous and pitiful attempt at justification. Please!
The Democrats' approach will crash the economy and open opportunities for terrorists to attack us again on US soil. When that occurs, and it will, will you maintain such a positive outlook on Obama? I’m sure that Oprah, Whoopi and Rosie will, but then they hate the United States.

"Hope and Change." Sorry, but I'm a pragmatist and believe in the Universal Principle of Unintended Consequences. Things are the way they are because it works. If you are going to make major changes in a society, you'd best have a very good reason and a very good idea about what the total effect will be. Societal change is like evolution. Most mutations are detrimental. Big mutations are much more likely to be lethal than beneficial. Besides, exactly what changes the Democrats plan that should give us hope has been more than a little hard to determine.

Think about it.

You said Dem administrations get soldiers killed unnecessarily...hmmm, i coulda sworn the Republicans were in office the last two times we invaded Iraq..not only Reps but both Bush's at that....It blows my mind that people dont realize we've just been freed of the worst president this country has ever had...Bush made Nixon and LBJ look like Washington and Jefferson....he was a liar, thief, and totally evil moron...and i have no respect for anybody who voted for him the second time after all the crap he pulled the first term...

You are a sick demented person!!!!!!!

No matter what your personal and political views are of President Obama and other previous democratic administrations, he is your Commander of Chief. And, besides he did attend the Commander in Chief Ball, and the soldiers were very, very receptive of their new Commander. It's funny how the article missed that!!

I am sooo confused, I love my country and I seek prayer for our soldiers across the border, but...if you have no confidence in Barack Obama, then who should I pray for, you, me, the USA or the politicians that with a snap of the almighty dollar can keep you there forever? I am so proud of you, whoever you are and you need to speak up to your loved ones....we are living in the USA of a socialist republic....I am so sorry if I can't bring you home.....I tried....Sonja.....Obama is an obamnation!!!

Neither do you list your name, I notice. What does it matter anyway - he either attended or didn't. Signing a name does not alter that fact.

It speaks to credibility...

What more could one expect from a liar who either cannot or who won't provide a birth certificate. He'll get his - and soon - I hope. Were I the parent of one of those heros and "that one" didn't show up at a celebration for my child I'd say "OK "that one" your day is coming and it ain't gonna be a good one.

Wow, I hope the secret service shows up at your doorstep for that comment. Is a ball really so important that you'll make a threat against the President? Get ahold of yourself. It's a stupid party, for godsakes.

Those who don't think this was a snub, either weren't in the military or were uninformed privates. This is a commander in chief who doesn't deserve the honor of being in the same company as these Medal of Honor winners.

Go tell the vets who were there..they said it wasn't a snub so please get your facts right. I'm in the military and I'm far from a private. I don't agree with everything the President stands for but I will support him 100% as I have done with the rest of our past "elected Presidents".

Finally a comment I agree with. The do's and don'ts, should or shouldn't haves all seem to run together, and mean nothing. But the fact that he "does not" deserve to be in the presence of Medal of Honor winners does fit the circumstance. In no way can he justify snubbing those Hero's, if it weren't for them, and all of our Military, he might never have had the chance to even run for President. Respect is given where respect is shown, and his blatant snub of these Hero's will always have a mark on his name.

Where do we go from here? The nation is so divided after 9 monthes. I feel like my Dad was rooting for my football team as I played hard and then left me in the rain! Where do I go for comfort? All of you know what I mean...Uncertaintity is the loss of a nation.

First of all....he obviously proved he is a U.S. Citizen or he would have never been sworn into office. If he is in fact not a U.S. Citizen....then shame on us for putting him in office. As far as him not showing up....its done and over with. Everybody bitching and complaining about it isn't going to change the fact that he didn't show up. At least Biden did, so there was some representation....so I say the everybody.......CHILL THE F--- OUT!

Are you telling me that you really think "we the people" put him in office. Everyone knows or should by the time they are in 8 grade that it's not a popular vote---it's all about those damn Electoral College vote. Our vote doesn't matter. We could have not voted at all and he would have still be elected.

You are right, we can't do anything about it but this is a very big deal to a lot of people and not to mention he is our Commander In Chief. He should have taking 30 minutes out of his night to honor the troops but instead he rather honor the celebs. Let face it, he didn't go because he didn't want to and that's his choice but that doesn't mean people don't have the right to be upset. If it was something that was important and meant a lot to you or your family, you'd be pissed too.

It's not a matter or right or wrong, it just a matter of respect and support. Medal of Honor receipents did something that you and I would never have the balls to do. There's plenty of websites that will tell everyone what it takes to get a Medal of Honor. This is the highest award and it isn't giving out to every Tom, Dick, & Harry just because they shined their shoes first.

AND isn't it funny that no post that I've read thus far has said the 2 simple words I'm about to...THANK YOU. Thank you to all the men and women serving that keep us free and safe.

How can you say that "we the people" had no say in the outcome of this election when Obama won by nearly 8 million popular votes and more than 2 to 1 electoral votes? American has spoken and it is up to everyone to get behind our elected leaders and move forward.

I am a Vietnam Vet, who received the Bronze Star. I served my country for almost 42 years in the Military and Civil Service and proud of every day of it. I would never put myself in the same category as a MoH recipient. However, I would bet my last dollar that the MoH recipients in attendance did not feel snubbed. Biden, with a Son currently serving in Iraq, was the logical choice to attend this gathering. It was as much a gift to Biden, in recognition of his Son's service, as anything.

I find a couple of things upsetting about this entire mess. First, nobody even asked the MoH attendees if they felt snubbed. The Hosts clearly stated they did not feel snubbed. Second, people went to great lengths to list the celebs at all the other Inaugural Balls but failed to list the ones who attended the Heroes ball. Now why would that be? Would it be to try to incite people? Surely not!

The people stirring up crap are obviously disgruntled McCain-Palin supporters who can't get over the fact their candidate lost (by a huge majority). Most probably have never even served a day in service to their country. If they did, they would know that heroes are the most humble people on the planet...if they don't feel snubbed, why should a bunch of right wing morons feel they are?

I am not spouting off, I am just more worried about you and the service you have rendered and you still don't ask for acknowledgement...you should, you did good and you feel like you have to take sides in the country you fought for...that's not fair. You are an American Hero and if you feel OB is your CNC so be it, but ask your Dad and Mom how they really feel. They are just thankful you are home and beleive me BO wouldn't take ur place over there...he's too busy rallying for the Olympics......we lost...think about that!

Fuck you - the servicemen were snubbed and this cocksucker president should have attended. WRT to his photo op at Dover - it was just that, a photo op. Just like clinton stacking up rocks at Normandy - it was a photo op, nothing more.

http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/birthcertificate.asp

Obama has shown his offical birth certificate. get your facts before you post stuff.

Using snopes as a source for this, invalidates your argument as much as using moveondotorg to support your statements. Rappsters promoting drugs violence appear bigger heros for our new President, than Medal of Honor recipients. As Commander in Chief, the "Hero's Ball" should have been the "FIRST" ball he attented. Then go hang with Kanye and all the other great civilians he seemingly respects more than our Military heros.

Hope we didn't get sucked into some bogus internet propaganda story. Surely at least "FoxNews.com" would have mentioned this somewhere. I can't find it on the other 3 either.

If this story is true. Then Shame on our CINC for not being there. If not, then we know where the shame [Lies].

God Bless Our MOH recipients, and all of our servicemen and women.
Thank You All

Right Bill, I don't see any author name taking credit for the story on this page and besides the email that I got, this blog (which some people might be duped into thinking is a legitimate news source) and some other blogs, these are the only places this story exists. So I have to conclude that this is NOT real. It existed as a figment of someone's imagination and they decided to write it down - on the internet!
Too bad there seems to be a small, sad group of so called citizens/patriots no less, who are so determined to demonize the new president... really sad... for our country.. how will we get out of this mess we are in, when people are so desparate for bad news about Obama that they will make it up!

Be careful of information from Snopes.com. It is not as unbiased as everyon has come to believe.

Snopes.com is not the be all end all of internet rumors.

that being said, I think the major issue here is Obama's seemingly "i'm special, i'm better and i'm above" attitude he's had as it relates to our nations traditions and precedence of other presidents.

No president has missed this ball since it was first held. No president since Lincoln used Lincoln's bible. No president has ever spent as much as BO on his innaguration, especially during such a negative economic time. No president has gotten away with or done the things BO has done or will do, and that to me is the issue.

He is NOT special. If he were, he'd be above the office of president (King, dictator, Calif, Sultan, etc). This is America and President is as high as you get. He's acted like he's better or different or worthy of higher praise or higher respect. We in this country are supposed to all be equal. Why is he above or different than any other president?

'Sanctions' sought in eligibility case
President's attorneys file motion demanding birth, college records be withheld from public
http://wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=88746

Obama, oaths and the end of constitutional government
http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=86611

The end of the constitutional republic?
http://www.wnd.com/index.php?pageId=82640

That is insightful, quick tell someone that he is not an American, perhaps he's from mars...you are a genius!

Get a freaking grip already people. It was a ball and we vets could care less if he attended or not. There are a lot bigger fish to fry here. I wasn't insulted so why are you? This is so petty..the people it should matter to could care less. Some of you are looking for reasons to find fault and believe me you will get yours too.

Don't speak for everyone, or even for all vets. I don't like Obama and where he stands on many of the issues of the day, but I will support him because he holds an office that I respect. I agree with others that, in the grand scheme of things, whether or not he attended or not is not the biggest issue we are facing right now. And, after all, it was a party -- albeit a very important one. That said, I too am offended that he did not attend the ball, and I'm sure that many other vets are offended as well. Also, don't accept at face value the American Legion's "statement" that they did not feel snubbed. What else could they say to the media without the risk of being portrayed as petty?

How pathetic are you, that you need to grasp at false information as it it were in the bible. Go listen to Lush Limpballs and his minions. Feel free to be ignorant and live in a cloud of smoke, but you don't need to barf your false truths on the internet.....oh, I guess you don't have anything better to do than to bash people who are different than you......smart, intelligent, un-poor (elite) and with more than their own selfish needs at stake. Grow up, or shut up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

you are an idiot. you symbolize everything wrong with this country and the reason americans are dying in Iraq. Maybe you should try some independant thought.

His birth certificate is all over the internet.

Amen.

You're just as dumb as the other people who've been spouting this stuff out for months now. Its so tired that its beyond ridiculous. If you really are that dumb to believe that the government would allow a Non US citizen to not only run for President but win, then you seriously need to have your head examined or be committed to an insane asylum.

Come up with something more original and valid instead of this nonsense you keep promoting.

I am embarrassed by obama. I am embarrassed for our galant servicemen. I am embarrassed for those who see the Oval Office as a place that should be held in high esteem. I am embarrassed for our country as we become a laughing stock.
We can't even prove where obama was born and those in our government that could force obama to provide us with this information have chosen not to do anything. I am embarrassed for them.

That's rich! It was the Bush administration that made the US a laughing stock in the eyes of the world. Or should I say it was the American people, who not only elected Bush but re-elected him, that made the US a laughing stock. I might also add that it was the Bush administration that sent a few thousand 'gallant' US servicemen to their deaths in Iraq based on lies and propaganda. Is that how presidents are supposed to show their respect to the nation's servicemen and women?

From the SAME Cleveland Leader as printed the “snub” article (link below, and section of the article copied in here, in italics):

http://www.clevelandleader.com/node/8666

Following the breaking of this news, there have been some misconceptions and erroneous information floating around. The American Legion, one of the main sponsors of the Salute to Heroes Inaugural Ball, issued a statement making it clear once and for all that Barack Obama did not in fact attend the event.

Craig Roberts, Media Relations Manager for the American Legion, issued the following statement:

The American Legion, as it has on every inauguration evening since 1953, hosted the Salute to Heroes Inaugural Banquet & Ball on January 20th. The quadrennial event is co-sponsored with fourteen veterans’ service and military service organizations and honors recipients of the Medal of Honor. Forty-seven of these heroes attended this year’s event which was held in the Renaissance Washington DC Hotel.

President Obama was invited but did not attend. Vice-President Joe Biden did appear, however, and was very warmly received. 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.”

The Commander-in-Chief Ball, as some have falsely insinuated, is not the same as the Salute to Heroes Inaugural Ball. The Veteran's Ball, which had been cancelled after the event's organizer disappeared, is also not to be confused with the event honoring Medal of Honor recipients.

Obama did make appearances at 10 official balls on January 20, including:

* Neighborhood Ball (the first-ever Neighborhood Inaugural Ball on January 20 at the Washington Convention Center with free or affordable tickets available)

* Home State Ball for Illinois and Hawaii (hopefully obvious why he had to attend)

* Home State Ball for Delaware and Pennsylvania (Joe Biden’s crowd)

* Commander-in-Chief Ball (again, hopefully obvious why he had to attend; MoH winners in attendance here, as well as active duty AND retired military personnel, Purple Heart winners, families of soldiers KIA, and military spouses)

* Youth Inaugural Ball (targeting 18 – 35 year olds, including many of those students who had been invited to DC as part of the Youth Inaugural Conference)

He and his wife Michelle finished up the evening with brief appearances at the:

* Mid-Atlantic Regional Ball (mid-Atlantic region from Virginia to New Jersey)
* Western Regional Ball (Western states and Guam)
* Midwest Regional Ball (Midwestern states from Kansas to N Dakota and Iowa to Nebraska)
* Eastern Regional Ball (Eastern states, Puerto Rico and USVI)
* Southern Regional Ball (from North Carolina across the Southeast to Texas)

On a logistics note, 6 of these 10 balls were at the same location, so security concerns were addressed en masse, rather than having to deal with security at a minimum of 10 different locations.
++++++++++++++++++++++++
As a sidebar, the TEN balls mentioned above were designed as the “OFFICIAL” inaugural balls by the Presidential Inauguration Committee.

i'm a white guy from texas and i can see you are a total kook!

Allah is my God and yours too!!!!!!

Allah are you eating your own fieces again... I told Muhammed to get on you about that... You Democrats are so silly.

O no he isn't!! My God is the Creator of the Universe and His Son Is Jesus Christ my Advocate!!

I'm willing to bet he would have found a way to overcome the "logistical challenges" and attend this ball.

This just show what value Barrack Hussein Obama places on our Heroes and our military in general. He was elected President by the uniformed, to rule over the uncaring, and provide handouts to the babbling masses. For all the bad press George Bush took over the eight years, he was very proactive to the military and our veterans. Was he perfect...no, no one is, but he had a hell of alot more class than B. Hussein Obama does

I agree with almost your entire comment, except the typo. B.H. Obama was most assuredly NOT elected by the "uniformed", who voted solidly for McCain, but I took your meaning to be the "uninformed" and agree whole heartedly.

Cheers,

Uniform: Check.

Voted for Obama: Also check.

Don't speak for all of us.

This is only the beginning.......

Our Heroes don't need the Zero's acknowledgement of their sacrifices in our name - they have OUR thanks and appreciation. Does the acknowledgement of a "President" who would rather rub shoulders with "celebrities" - a Democrat specialty - or "rap music stars" count as anything anyway?

The American people salute our heroes, we honor their sacrifice, we thank God for men like them - men whose very being is DUTY, HONOR, COUNTRY.

Zero stands for none of that. To hell with him. He's not MY President.