More snow pics from Fayetteville. Note the feet. A true Floridian doesn't wear shoes even in the snow.
Gayle and I had a few friends over yesterday to watch the inauguration. It was quite the spectacle. It's a true testament to our country, but more particularly to military and their families, that the transition of power can be done so effortlessly and so peacefully....especially when the men taking and leaving office are so completely different. Regardless of where you sit on the political spectrum, yesterday was a historic day.
President Obama had some very gracious things to say about the military and their families at last night's Commander In Chief's Ball. Here they are:
OBAMA REMARKS AT COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF INAUGURAL BALL
I want to start by thanking tonights co hosts; the senior enlisted advisors of the five branches of the United States Armed Forces.
I want to acknowledge the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who are here with us as well. Thank you, gentlemen.
I also want to recognize some very special guests. Three hundred wounded warriors who are joining us from (inaudible). I want to thank all of you for your service. I wish you quick and healthy recoveries. I know that you are more than ready to get home to your families. I know they are more than ready to have you back.
I also want to take a moment to honor the families of the fallen, who are here with us tonight. You have given so much to this country. Know that your loved ones sacrifice has been your sacrifice as well. Please know that you in our thoughts and prayers. Today, everyday, forever.
And finally, I want to thank all of the enlisted men and women and junior officers here tonight. It is wonderful to be surround by some of the very best and bravest Americans. Your courage, grace, and your patriotism inspire us all. To you, and to all those watching around the world, know that as President, I will have no greater honor or responsibility than serving as your commander in chief.
Right now, as we gather here in Washington, we are sobered by the knowledge that we have troops in all corners of the world, many of them in harms way. We are fighting two wars. We face dangerous threats to our security. We depend on the men and women of our armed services to keep us safe.
We also know that service and sacrifice aren't limited to those who wear the uniform. Because every time a serviceman redeploys, there is an empty seat at the table back home, and a family that has to bear an extra burden. That's why Michelle has spent so much time these last few months working with our military families.
And that's why tonight we don't just salute our troops, we salute the military families who have earned the respect of a grateful nation.
Understand, tonight isn't simply about the inauguration of an American President. Its a celebration of our military and our military families, so going forward you will have our support and our respect.
You will have a great Secretary of Defense in Bob Gates. You will have a great Secretary of Veterans affairs in General Erik Shinseki.
And every single day that I am in the White house, I will try to serve you as well as you are serving the United States of America.
As I said earlier today, while the tests we face are new, and the ways in which we meet them may be new, the values on which our success depends are old. Those values like hard work and honesty, courage and tolerance, loyalty and patriotism, those are values that are embodied in our armed forces. What's required is for all of us to return to those values, what's required is all of us to embrace a new era of responsibility where we expect and demand not only more of our leaders, but more of ourselves.
So tonight, we celebrate, but tomorrow the work begins. And I look forward to joining you in that effort. Together I am confident that we will write the next great chapter in Americas story.