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.|
|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.