Politics

In the Capitol, Women's Living History

Vaught was honored at Statuary Hall for her achievements in the Air Force. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

First lady Michelle Obama and Jill Biden kicked off Women's History Month on Wednesday with a Capitol Hill event in Statuary Hall for the Joining Forces initiative, which works to aid service members and veterans.  

“Just one month?” Obama quipped about women's history. The event honored retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Wilma L. Vaught, who stood and saluted the first lady during her remarks. “Every time I see her, I tell her I want to grow up to be just like her,” Obama said.  

UNITED STATES - MARCH 2 - Dr. Jill Biden speaks while honoring women veterans for their service, in Statuary Hall on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, March 2, 2016. The recipient of an American flag flown over the U.S. Capitol, retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Wilma L. Vaught, was the first woman to deploy with an Air Force bomber unit and the first woman to reach the rank of brigadier general from the comptroller field. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Biden urged young women to "dream big." (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Biden, the wife of Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., spoke first so she could leave to travel to Houston to welcome astronaut Scott Kelly back to Earth, where she'll be traveling with three military students. “I want to show these students that if they work hard and dream big, there’s no limit on where they could go,” Biden said.  

House Republican Conference Chairmn Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., began her remarks with a nod to the historical achievement of her colleague, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.  

UNITED STATES - MARCH 2 - House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., signals a member of her staff for her notes during a presentation to honor women veterans for their service, in Statuary Hall on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, March 2, 2016. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Pelosi signals a member of her staff for her notes during the Statuary Hall event. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

“I certainly want to recognize Leader Pelosi as a trailblazer herself, the first female speaker,” she said, before praising Vaught and Rep. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., a former fighter pilot.  

The first lady urged female veterans to tell their own stories, because “our girls … need to hear them.”  

Contact Gangitano at AlexGangitano@cqrollcall.com and follow her on Twitter at @AlexGangitano .

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