John F. Kennedy (CVN 79) Christening Ceremony Highlights

It is with great pride that I welcome you to Newport News Shipbuilding and to the christening of CVN 79 John F. Kennedy. And now please welcome the sponsor of CVN 79, and daughter of President John F. Kennedy, Ambassador Caroline Kennedy. We are gathered today not to simply christen a ship, we are here to celebrate America’s military might and the brawn behind it. We are here to celebrate innovation, pride and perseverance that is the American way. Since the first cut of steel nine years ago, thousands of shipbuilders have brought incredible integrity, skill and innovation to bear. Working around the clock in pouring down rain, unrelenting humidity, bitter cold to create this magnificent marvel beside us. They continue to overcome physical and technological challenges that we refer to as the “romance of shipbuilding” and they rise to every challenge. This ship represents what President John F. Kennedy meant to the United States of America and to the world. As president he lifted our ambitions towards the skies and challenged the nation to be better, to be a more perfect union. He taught us that deterrence will always cost less than war. That the purpose of our military, including this war ship that bears his name, must be to ensure our nation’s commitment to peace and prosperity for ourselves and for all nations of the world. As we observe a date which will live in infamy on this 78th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, this magnificent vessel we see before us today is a symbol of our nation’s strength, our technical achievements and the critical service our men and women in uniform provide for this nation and the entire world. The USS John F. Kennedy will sail our seas proudly. It will be christened with the name that has left its mark in the hearts of all Americans and it represents the strength and hope for a better tomorrow that have always led our nation to be its best. It’s an honor to be here with so many people who have dedicated their lives and service to our country. Sailors, shipbuilders, senators, space explorers, secretaries and all of your families. The last time I was in Newport News I was nine years old. Overwhelmed by the responsibility of christening CV-67. And I never imagined that one day I would be standing here again in the same spot with my husband Ed and my own children Rose and Tatiana. Just as awestruck by the power of the U.S. Navy and the patriotism of what happens here in Newport News. And I certainly never dreamed that President Kennedy would be honored a second time by a magnificent aircraft carrier that bears his name. We look forward to, in President Kennedy’s words, “What together we can do for the freedom of man.” We pray that God will keep the John F. Kennedy safe and we wish for her fair winds and following seas. Ladies and gentlemen, it is now the moment we have all been waiting for. The relationship between a Ship’s Sponsor and her crew is a special one. When she christens the ship today, Ambassador Kennedy will not only officially name CVN 79 for her father, it is said that she will also impart her spirit onto the ship and her crew. I christen thee United States Ship John F. Kennedy. May God bless this ship and all who sail in her.

Michael Martin

13 Responses

  1. @ 2:06 look at the mason sneaking in one of their hand signs LOL boys and their funny little tree fort games. and I see turquoise blue was being well represented that day (nudge nudge wink wink)

  2. The utility of American and allied military assets, as well as a wide variety of
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