WASHINGTON - The American Legion Ball saluted America's heroes, specifically Medal of Honor recipients, at one of the hottest tickets in Washington D.C. - an invitation to an inaugural ball.
Americans donning their best attire were spotted all over the nation's capital. It's the moment fashion watchers wait for on Inauguration Day. There were two official inaugural balls and dozens of unofficial galas in Washington.
The first lady dazzled in a red chiffon and velvet gown designed by Jason Wu, the same man who designed her first inaugural gown.
Of the 81 living recipients of the highest military honor in the land, the majority were in attendance at The American Legion Ball. Every Medal of Honor recipient had a story.
"I was a helicopter ambulance pilot during Vietnam called a dustoff pilot. Our job was to pick up the wounded from the battlefield and that's what I did, that was my job. I did it for two years, I picked up about 5,000 wounded," Ret. U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Patrick Brady said.
All of them said they were simply doing their jobs when their personal acts of valor went beyond the call of duty and elevated them to the elite Medal of Honor society.
"I almost feel like a mascot with all the other great heroes that are here. Many of them from WWII are the standard bearers that I simply tried to emulate. I was simply a rifleman in Vietnam, uh, Hamburger Hill, 1969 and I did what any soldier would do in that circumstance," U.S. Army Col. Gordon Ray Roberts said.
Vice President Joe Biden also chimed in.
"You've met danger and glory with equal measure and you've always, always, not only won, but made our country proud of you," Biden said.
As the commander-in-chief works to withdraw American troops from Afghanistan during his second term, he'll also consider deep cuts to military spending.
But for one night in Washington, policy debates and party loyalties were put aside for patriotic pride.