Rascal Flatts are officially the newest members of the Grand Ole Opry! The trio was inducted into the Opry last night, Oct. 8, in a ceremony that was simultaneously celebrating the institution’s 86th birthday.

Gary LeVox, Rascal Flatts’ vocalist, spoke about the honor before he, Jay DeMarcus and Joe Don Rooney took the stage in Nashville for their induction. LeVox said “it is so humbling to carry the Opry flag. There’s no higher pinnacle.” DeMarcus also said “one of the titles we’re most proud of is member of the Grand Ole Opry” (quotes via Country Music Is Love).

Rooney also reflected on a conversation he had with his father about the distinction. “I remember when I was growing up, I would watch the Grand Ole Opry on TV,” Rooney said. “[My father] remembers when he was growing up listening to it on the radio. Now here we are in the year 2011 watching and listening online … We are humbled by this and can’t wait to see what the future has in store for us and the Grand Ole Opry … Tonight is a great platform from which to set sail.”

The group was also surprised with a special video message from George W. Bush. “[My wife and I] love their music, and we also love their compassion and generosity,” the former U.S. President said. “Throughout their success, Rascal Flatts have given back to their community and to our country by supporting the Make A Wish Foundation, Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital, and the American Red Cross. I am especially proud of their efforts to honor the men and women of our armed forces, and the heroes who are wounded on the front lines. So thanks for your example of excellence and patriotism. And congratulations as well as a hardy welcome to the Opry.”

Rascal Flatts were inducted by Grand Ole Opry member Little Jimmy Dickens and Opry general manager Pete Fisher. At the end of the momentous evening, LeVox said, “You have witnessed the greatest night of our lives.” Congratulations to Rascal Flatts!

Watch Rascal Flatts Getting Inducted Into the Grand Ole Opry