With the inauguration coming up in a few days, both civilians and those working on Capital Hill are abuzz with preparations and excitement. And rightly so! In our country’s history, Barack Obama is only our 44th president, and with inaugurations taking place only every four years, the hype is palpable. Here at the office we’re getting calls from all over the country from individuals looking to buy Obama lapel pins and other various souvenirs, especially challenge coins.
Did you know that ever since President Clinton, each president has had his very own challenge coin minted, and that it is his discretion whom they go to? As the Commander and Chief it’s fitting that he get to participate in the time-honored military tradition, and each president has been very humbled when they receive their challenge coins. And for those who receive the official presidential coin, the humbling feeling is shared. Because when you receive a presidential challenge coin, it’s coming directly from the president, often in person. That’s not a bad deal!
So this Sunday the president will again take the oath of office, go to the parties and the parades, and he will also get his new challenge coins. But for those of you out there who aren’t on the president’s speed dial, the White House gift shop apparently carries a version created for the public that while not rare, is still a priceless memento of an historic day.