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The ball is a formal occasion, so this is your chance to try out your best red carpet look.
If you’d wear it to a prom or the Oscars, it’s probably appropriate for the ball as well, but do keep in mind that balls are a bit more solemn.
Until recently, the final toast used to be “to the ladies,” with female guests being seated and servicewomen in the strange position of being “ladies,” but not guests at the ball.
Next come toasts for specific groups within the hosting organization, and they have slogans that are part of the toast.
The second-to-last will be a toast to “our fallen comrades.” There is no response to this toast.
The punch bowl itself is usually a venerable silver one, wheeled out with formality on a cart covered with a white cloth.
Servicemembers come forward, alone or in pairs, bearing different types of alcoholic drinks — and occasionally other things, like green tea or coconut milk.