NORFOLK -- The USS George H.W. Bush is celebrating its 10th anniversary.
The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier was built in Newport News and commissioned in Norfolk on Jan. 10, 2009, amid much fanfare that included attendance by the Bush family.
Up until former President George H.W. Bush's death last year, the ship was the only aircraft carrier with a living namesake. The former president and naval aviator maintained a close relationship with the ship and its crew even after it joined the fleet.
"I am proud of every man and woman on this ship," Bush said during a 2010 visit to the ship while at sea, according to a Navy news story. "I was honored to be able to reenlist those who are ready to serve again. I am very emotional about service to country, particularly the Navy. I am very proud of the Navy and extremely proud of this ship. That this ship is named after me knows no bound in terms of my emotion and my pleasure and the honor that I feel."
Following his death last month, the ship's crew gathered on the flight deck at night to shine lights in tribute to Bush's vision of volunteers as points of light in their communities.
The Bush was the last Nimitz-class aircraft carrier built and has gone on multiple deployments to Europe and the Middle East. In 2013, it became the first aircraft carrier to launch and recover an experimental unmanned combat aerial vehicle -- otherwise known as a large drone -- at sea.
This article is written by Brock Vergakis from The Virginian-Pilot and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to email@example.com.