WASHINGTON, Nov. 21, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Legion and the Veterans Inaugural Committee announced today the Veterans Inaugural Ball — A Salute to Heroes, which will take place on Jan. 20, 2017, is sold out. Started in 1953 at the request of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, the ball provides the opportunity for the newly elected president of the United States to pay tribute to Medal of Honor recipients.
The Medal of Honor is the nation's highest award for valor bestowed upon individuals serving in the U.S. Armed Services. Since the first medal was awarded in 1863, there have been nearly 3,500 recipients. Most of the medal's recipients paid for the award with their lives. Fewer than 80 Medal of Honor recipients are living today and more than half are expected to attend the Veterans Inaugural Ball. Drew Carey, who served in the Marine Corps Reserves, will serve as the emcee for the evening. Guests will also include members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, senior military, elected and government officials, celebrities, corporate citizens and other members of the Armed Forces. "It will be an honor in and of itself to be seated in a room with so many Medal of Honor recipients," American Legion National Commander Charles E. Schmidt said. "The evening will be a memorable one as we reflect on past and present efforts of the men and women who have served our nation with honor and pride." American Airlines is the premier corporate sponsor for the evening and UPS is sponsoring the dinner. The event is hosted by The American Legion and organized by the Veterans Inaugural Committee. The committee is comprised of 14 congressionally chartered veterans service organizations including The American Legion, Military Order of the Purple Heart, Vietnam Veterans of America, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Blinded Veterans Association, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S., the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, AMVETS, the Retired Enlisted Association, Disabled American Veterans, Marine Corps League, Non Commissioned Officers Association, Reserve Officers Association, Jewish War Veterans of the USA and American Ex-Prisoners of War. The Veterans Inaugural Ball is poised to be a night to remember for Medal of Honor recipients and everyone in attendance. More information can be found at www.Legion.org/veteransball. About The American Legion The American Legion is the largest wartime veterans service organization with 2.2 million members in more than 13,000 posts in communities across America. The Legion, established by an act of Congress in 1919, was instrumental in getting the original GI Bill through Congress and the creation of the Department of Veterans Affairs.