The President
Months ago when we learned that President Obama would be the commencement speaker at the Air Force Academy graduation, David and I vowed to do whatever we could to get tickets. We were SO blessed because a former student of David's was graduating from the Academy and his family got us 6 tickets, so even my mom was able to attend.
We left the house a little after 8 am. Carver missed a math final today but this was way, way, way more important. We don't live far from the Academy, but we were prepared for a lot of waiting. When we got on base we were surprised to see little to no traffic. They were so organized and waved us all in. David was coming from work, and just as he got to the intersection where he turns onto the highway, a sherrif's car pulled up and blocked the entrance. David begged to get on the highway and the sherriff waved him on. He just made it before they closed the highway for the president's motorcade.
Once we parked and found David, we got in the enormous security line. Can you see how many people were in the stands?
This is just after all the graduating cadets marched in. Man can they march.
After they announced the arrival of a few important people, the band began to play Hail To The Chief and the president walked out onto the field. Here he is just after exiting the tunnel. He's that little man down there. Sorry, I don't have a super duper expensive zoom lense.
I put a little yellow dot next to all the secret service men. There are 10 in this picture. Can you find them all? The secret service were everywhere. Up in the stands, all over the field, standing around the uppermost bleachers...

President Obama behind the podium giving the commencement address.

They had him on the big screen too.

As the cadets' names were called, they walked across the stage, saluted, and shook the president's hand. He did that over 1,000 times.


The event ended with the Blue Angels flyover.

I was so proud of my kids. They sat in full sun for almost three hours and never complained. They were super excited to see the president, but they also had to sit through other speeches and listen to all the graduates' names being read.

I don't think I can put into words how exciting this was for our family. Whether you like the president or not, you can't take away from the experience of seeing the formality and pageantry and awesomeness of such an event. He gave an amazing speech, too.

Perfect day!


Kim said...

so stinkin' cool! (okay, I'm a smidgen jealous...) what a gift to give your children!

Mama Papaya said...

What an incredible moment for them. And for you. Incredibleness!

Melodie Monberg said...

What an amazing experience and memory! So glad you got to do this...it's on my bucket list for when we get back to the Springs!

krisvs said...

So great! My first thought when I heard the POTUS was in Colorado was "I wonder if David & Cathy were able to get tickets--that would be so cool"

hotflawedmama said...

totally worth missing a math test. :)

love this. your beautiful family is so precious.

Carlyn Girl said...

What a good experience for your children! It's something that they will always remember. I liked the dots you put on the Secret Service men, that was interesting.

jayme said...

I remember sitting at Jon's graduation ceremony listening to him speak. It was 90+ degrees, and we were sitting on hot, backless bleachers in the sun. And none of that mattered because we were completely captivated. This was in 2006, and I remember knowing deep in my soul, as we listened to what our then-senator had to say, that he would be our president one day.

I am so, so glad you and your family had the opportunity to witness this. And I *love* the fact that he greeted each graduate personally. What class he has!