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Moment of Truth is Upon Us
By Brig. Gen. Duane Lodrige
Joint Task Force - Armed Forces Inaugural Committee Deputy Commander
Photo, caption below.
Brig. Gen. Duane Lodrige
ARLINGTON, VA , Jan. 13, 2005 – It’s hard to believe that the Inaugural Period is just around the corner. It’s time to stand and deliver. For many of us, this may be the most publicly visible mission we ever undertake.

Many of us have been deployed on demanding contingencies around the world. Some of our colleagues are fighting the global war on terrorism in Iraq or Afghanistan, helping the tsunami humanitarian aid missions in South Asia or deployed to other locations worldwide. For us though, the mission at hand is here in the nation’s capital, supporting the 55th Presidential Inauguration.

It’s not the pomp and glitz that should awe us; it’s the underpinnings of democracy, liberty and the peaceful continuation of power that this ceremony represents. The symbolism this event holds for the American public and the global community is what will captivate us as we stand side-by-side with our fellow citizens for the most magnificent ceremony in our land.

One Navy bandsman summed it up at a dress rehearsal this week when he said, “my favorite part is the first step-off; it’s exhilarating and it just overtakes you,” said Chief Musician Juan Vazquez.

The military will be front and center when the world watches this major national and international event. It will be the personification of democracy and of civilian leadership for the world, and for those at home to appreciate.

As we move into the "execute" mode, you should be proud. You’re on “parade” as a visible and professional member of the U.S. military. The world will see our Armed Forces through you. No matter your role in the inauguration, from a supporting role in logistics or communications to cordon member or commander of troops, you are a member of the military team. I’m sure that it will be a day that you’ve prepared for intently but it will end far too soon. Executing our mission is going to be challenging but extremely rewarding. I can’t wait for Jan. 20 to dawn when the Joint Task Force-Armed Forces Inaugural Committee members will stand and deliver a stellar and memorable performance representative of the U.S. Armed Forces on the world stage.

Last Updated:
11/30/2005, Eastern Daylight Time
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