GW Hosts Birthday Party Celebration on 4th of July
PACIFIC OCEAN (NNS) -- Sailors aboard the U.S. Navy's forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) took a short pause from daily operations to take part in a patriotic Independence Day ceremony and to celebrate the ship's 21st anniversary, July 4.
On July 4, 1992, 216 years after America declared it's independence from the British, the fourth ship to bear the name of America's first president was commissioned in front of 22,000 people in Norfolk.
"I'm very glad to be here celebrating the 4th of July," said Rear Adm. Mark Montgomery, commander, Battle Force Seventh Fleet. "I was present at George Washington's commissioning ceremony and 21 years later, I'm here celebrating it with the crew."
The ceremony began with the singing of the National Anthem followed by an invocation, speeches by command leadership, a video presentation and a cake cutting.
During the ceremony, nothing resonated more than Montgomery's own experience during the commissioning ceremony and the impact it had on him.
"I was on board USS Bainbridge (DLGN 256) 21 years ago and we were the backdrop for the George Washington commissioning," said Montgomery. "I couldn't have imagined that I would be here 21 years later and to celebrate both George Washington's and our country's birthday. It's fitting to be here today at-sea on the ships because it reminds us of the importance the Navy plays defending our country, deterring our adversaries and ensuring the freedom of the sea."
The ceremony gave a chance for Sailors to take time out of their busy schedule to celebrate the 4th of July and reflect on the nation and its history.
"I enjoyed the ceremony because it reminded me of home," said Machinist Mate 2nd Class Thomas Hill, from George Washington's engineering department. "This is the first 4th of July that I haven't been home. I left for boot camp two days after the fourth and to be able to come out here, take a break and see this presentation, really reminds me of why I'm here."
Whether in-port or underway, George Washington takes time to celebrate the 4th of July and remember the heritage of their service and honor the patriots that made U.S. independence possible.
"It's a moment to remind us why we serve our country; what's exceptional about the U.S. and it's Navy," said Montgomery. "It's a good thing to be with the Sailors that epitomize the opportunity that the United States offers when you're celebrating your country and the independence it represents."
George Washington and its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, provide a combat-ready force that protects and defends the collective maritime interest of the U.S. and its allies and partners in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.
For more news from USS George Washington (CVN 73), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn73/.