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Obama to hold military ball on Jan 20

President-elect Barack Obama will host Commander-in-Chief's ball on the evening of January 20, the day he is sworn in as the 44th Head of state of the United States of America.

world Updated: Jan 02, 2009 09:37 IST

Continuing with a tradition started by President George Bush, President-elect Barack Obama will host Commander-in-Chief's ball on the evening of January 20, the day he is sworn in as the 44th Head of state of the United States of America.

Presidential Inauguration Committee (PIC) announced yesterday that the Commander-in-Chief's inaugural ball is being held by Obama to honour the US's active duty and reserve military. The tradition was first started by Bush in 2005.

"It is a privilege to honour our men and women in uniform during our inaugural festivities by continuing the tradition of the Commander-in-Chief's Ball," Obama said in a statement issued by PIC.

Additional invited guests for the function will include wounded warriors (Purple Heart recipients), families of fallen heroes, and spouses of deployed military, PIC said in a statement.

"Our troops represent the best America has to offer, and without their dedication and sacrifice we would not be able to enjoy the freedoms that we are coming together to celebrate on January 20," the President-elect said.

"They deserve our thanks and our gratitude," said Obama, who would be attending the ball along with wife Michelle Obama.

The first couple is expected to dance at the inaugural ball to be held at the historic National Building Museum and offer brief remarks. One of the 10 official inaugural balls, the Commander-in-Chief's Ball would be broadcast worldwide.