By DAVID SHARP, Associated Press
BATH, Maine (AP) – The future USS Carl M. Levin was christened on Saturday by the daughters of the Michigan senator, who simultaneously smashed bottles of sparkling wine against the bow of the warship at Bath Iron Works.
Daughters Erica Levin, Laura Levin and Kate Levin Markel paid tribute to their late father, the longtime chairman of the armed services committee, who died at 87 on July 29 from cancer.
They subsequently waved from the deck of the ship – about 30 feet above the assembly – as a group played “Anchors Aweigh”.
Levin’s nephew, US Representative Andy Levin, D-Mich., Said his “uncle Carl” was “overwhelmed with honor.”
“I can honestly say that amidst all the accolades he has received in fifty years of public service, this one meant the most to him, and he truly captures his dedication to our nation,” the member said. Congress, who was joined at the event by another family. members, including Carl Levin’s wife, Barbara, and Levin’s older brother, former US Representative Sander Levin.
The warship’s namesake served for 36 years in the United States Senate and was chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, becoming a defense expert. Prior to that, he was a lawyer and a member of Detroit City Council, where he served as president for four years.
He was universally praised by those who spoke at the event for his work on behalf of the military, military and veterans.
The current Chairman of the Armed Services Committee, Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island, has called him a “fearless and altruistic leader.” integrity, intelligence and commitment.
Other attendees at the event included Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro, Governor Janet Mills and other US Senator from Maine, Angus King; and Navy officials, including the vessel’s potential captain and crew.
It was a smaller ceremony than normal. Due to the pandemic, this was an invitation-only event with several hundred guests instead of a typical gathering of several thousand people. Shipbuilders were encouraged to watch a live broadcast of the event.
While Levin passed away before Saturday’s stage, he had visited the shipyard on several occasions to meet with shipbuilders.
He attended a ceremony that marked the construction of the ship in 2019, when he and his daughters donned visors and helped weld their names onto a plaque that was on the ship.
Kate Levin Markel told the crowd that her father’s bond with the ship “kept him spirited until his last days” and that he even prepared a speech before his death. Another sister, Erica Levin, read the address in which Levin thanked shipbuilders and spoke of the “incredible honor” of having a ship named after her.
The christening of a Navy warship marks a milestone in construction. More work needs to be done before sea trials are conducted and are taken over by the Navy prior to official commissioning. The warship will eventually be based in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
The Arleigh Burke class destroyers like the future USS Carl Levin are the workhorse of the American fleet.
The 510-foot-long destroyers can easily exceed 30 knots while simultaneously waging war against enemy ships, submarines, missiles, and aircraft. They are also designed to resist chemical attack.
This story has been corrected to show that sparkling wine, not champagne, was used during the ceremony.
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