USS George H. W. Bush Christened

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The newest and last Nimitz class aircraft carrier to join the US fleet was christened today at Newport News, Virginia. The USS George H. W. Bush was given the traditional champaign sendoff by the former president's daughter, Doro Bush Koch.

"I know you join me in saying to our father, President Bush, your ship has come in," the current president said during a ceremony for the last of the Nimitz-class carriers, the CVN 77.

"She is unrelenting, she is unshakable, she is unyielding, she is unstoppable," Bush said, lauding the warship's state-of-the-art design before pausing for a punch line aimed at his mother's well-known steely constitution. "As a matter of fact, probably should have been named the Barbara Bush."

The elder Bush, a decorated Navy pilot in World War II, joined the armed forces on his 18th birthday, June 12, 1942. "After our nation was attacked at Pearl Harbor, you simply couldn't find anyone who wasn't anxious to sign up," he told the audience as a heavy rain fell.

"The point is that our nation was totally united against the insidious totalitarian threat against freedom," he said. He added, "In my humble view, we were no greater than the kids that serve today."

The current president said that in the 21st century, "freedom is again under attack and young Americans are volunteering to answer the call."

In case you were not aware of this, George H. W. Bush was shot down in the Pacific near the Japanese held island of Chichi Jima in 1945. He was rescued. Others shot down that were not pulled from the sea ended up on the Island where every one of them was executed by the Japanese garrison. The book Flyboys by James Bradley tells their stories. Here are some photos of the Bush under construction. Here is the Northrup Grumman website for the CVN-77.

UPDATE: Received via email, a link to a video of the construction of the CVN-77.

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