On July, 4, 1992—216 years after the United States declared its independence from the British—the U.S. Navy commissioned USS George Washington (CVN 73) into service at Naval Station Norfolk. The commissioning ceremony took place in front of 22,000 people who came out to see the sixth ship of the Nimitz-class receive the official seal of approval to patrol the seas.
Named after America’s first president and commander in the Revolutionary War, the ship’s motto is “The Spirit of Freedom,” a phrase George Washington used to describe the mood of the people in a letter he wrote. Since her commissioning, USS George Washington and her crew have embodied this motto to protect our allies and deter our adversaries.
With the next-generation class of aircraft carriers set to begin later this year when the Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) is scheduled to be christened, the legacy of George Washington’s “Spirit of Freedom” will continue in these essential platforms capable of projecting power at sea and ashore.
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[Photo credit: U.S. Navy]