On Monday, First Lady Michelle Obama (pictured center left) flew in to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, to meet with First Lady Salma Kikwete (pictured center right), visit a bomb memorial, and then watch a performance by youth dance group Baba wa Watoto.
After being welcomed by throngs of Tanzanians who played instruments and sang songs, Mrs. Obama met briefly with Kikwete before visiting the Embassy Bombing Memorial. At the memorial, a pair of young girls with flower-laden arms awaited the first ladies.
Once Mrs. Obama and Mrs. Kikwete took the flowers from girls, they placed them at the foot of the memorial. The first ladies then paused for a moment of silence for the victims that were killed and injured in the bombings.
On August 7, 1998, American embassies in Dar es Salaam and Nairobi, Kenya, were bombed by trucks armed with 17 tons of explosive devices. Two-hundred and forty people were killed in the attacks while 4,000 were injured. Twelve of the dead were Americans.
In 2011, Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, who was allegedly responsible for the terrorist attacks and identified as the head of al-Shabaab, a Somali-based extension of al-Qaeda, was killed by Somali police.
The somber moment was soon supplanted with a lively performance by the Baba wa Watoto dance group who performed for an auditorium full of eager school children with impressive acrobatics, song, and dance punctuated with drums. Mrs. Kikwete, Mrs. Obama, and daughters Malia and Sasha sat in attendance toward the back of the venue in a single row.
Tanzania marks Mrs. Obama’s final leg in a three-nation tour of Africa. Initially, the First Lady traveled to Senegal, speaking to middle school girls about success. On her second leg, Mrs. Obama traveled to South Africa and held a Google Plus chat with South African teens and American students. After participating in the African First Ladies Summit on Tuesday, the First Lady will return to the United States.