Thanks for letting us know!
News not in the News
....from a parent of a graduating cadet in June, 2004:
"Last Wed we were in Colo Springs for the AF Academy graduation;
featured speaker was George W Bush. A little long winded,
but the speech was punctuated with a lot of applauses, which
suggested that a lot of the military brass in attendance support him.
However, what was more impressive to me was the fact that he personally
saluted and congratulated every single cadet that crossed the
stage, my son included. There were nearly 1000 cadets and this
process took 1 hour, 40 minutes. I watched him through my zoom, and he
displayed the personal touch all the way through: every cadet
was saluted; the men were then given a hand shake and often a pat on
the shoulder with his left hand or some other personal words; the women
were all given a hug and some of the women cadets also gave him a kiss
on the check. Occasionally a cadet would ask for a "wave to my
parents" and then the cadet and the president would turn to the crowd
and wave in the correct direction. He showed as much enthusiasm to the
middle and last cadets as to the first ones -- in fact, he looked like he
was enjoying himself! "
At the Academy graduation, the "top 10%" are noted as Distinguished
Graduates (known as "DG's" -- the Academy doesn't have summa, magna ***
laude, etc.) and they graduate first. The rest of the graduates walk
across by squadron (36 squadrons). 5 years ago when Clinton was there,
he only personally congratulated the DG's (takes about 10 minutes) and
then he sat down. Bush was offered the same option, but refused - said
he wanted to recognize every single graduate. This is the stuff about
the man that never makes the news....
White House press release here: http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2004/06/20040602.html