A Celebration of History and Tradition

Since arriving in the Washington DC area over a month ago, Clay and I have been repeating a phrase to each other at least once a day – this feels right. And last night, we attended our first military ball in our nation’s capitol city. We’ve attended many military balls over the years at various duty stations, but last night was definitely the swankiest.

The obligatory photograph on our front steps.

I’m a sucker for my husband in his dress blues and before long, I’ll get to start seeing him in his mess dress. So handsome! The military is rife with tradition and military balls are an excellent representation of the history within the institution. The receiving line, the horn signalizing the commencement of dinner, the presentation of the colors, the national anthem, the multi-course meal, the speeches, the dancing, and the pomp and circumstance all emblematize the established practices of the armed services since the American Revolution. They’re also a great time to socialize and cut loose (but not too loose…ahem).

Last night marked the first time I’ve been able to meet some of Clay’s co-workers so it was nice to put faces with names. Toasts were made. Wine was consumed. And dinner was really good – not your typical hotel banquet fare – my asiago crusted chicken rivaled any upscale restaurant in town.  After dinner, the United States Army Chorus performed for about a half-hour, singing a melody of traditional cadences and patriotic hymns. It was my first time hearing the chorus in person and ohmygoodness, can those men sing!

Once the formal portion of the evening was over (the singing of The Army Song), the dance floor opened. The live band was excellent and played a great mix of swing, oldies, and traditional slow dances. I’m a sucker for a live horn section so it was fun to be able to dance to Mustang Sally with Clay and not worry about watching some people embarrassing themselves to a DJ playing 36 Mafia (memories of a ball we went to during our Ft. Drum days…). Overall, it was a classy affair. I only spotted one prom-like dress (complete with a tiara) and thankfully, nothing like the ‘infamous military ball dress’ was worn. If you are not familiar with said dress, consider yourself lucky!

Despite a rooftop deck not being available to take-in views of the city (boo..), we had a fun time at the ball and enjoyed our date night. I thoroughly love this aspect of military life and look forward to our next on-the-town event!

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11 thoughts on “A Celebration of History and Tradition

    • Karen September 24, 2012 / 9:03 am

      Thanks Angela Noelle. What to know a secret? I found it on the clearance rack at Macy’s for $14.99. Yes, $14.99.

  1. Shelly September 23, 2012 / 10:04 am

    You guys look great!

    • Karen September 24, 2012 / 9:03 am

      Thanks Shelly!

  2. jen September 23, 2012 / 1:14 pm

    hottie! glad you had fun

    • Karen September 24, 2012 / 9:03 am

      The professional pictures we had taken at the event turned out horrible. I look like I was beaten with a ham shank.

  3. Martha September 23, 2012 / 1:21 pm

    We had the choir sing at our last military ball here in Fayetteville. They were very good. I have to say that I’m glad you didn’t see any of the typical ball apparel (I wasn’t so lucky at our last ball…it was interesting).

    • Karen September 24, 2012 / 9:04 am

      I was super impressed with the chorus. They did a medley of the Division songs that was amazing.

  4. mollypg September 23, 2012 / 6:47 pm

    STUN. ning. You look so gorgeous!!!!!
    Oh how I wish I could go to a ball. What an amazing experience.

    I’m so, so happy for you that D.C. feels right. And yay for delicious food at an event like that.

    • Karen September 24, 2012 / 9:04 am

      Molly – you never know…you may go to a ball someday. I hope so…I’d love to see what dress you would pick out!

  5. My Traveling Troop September 24, 2012 / 9:31 pm

    What a beautiful dress! So happy to read your experience at the ball was fun!

    I live overseas right now and ordered my dress online for my first Navy ball. I hope it fits! 🙂

    Cheers,
    Kristina

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