Missouri christened at EB

The Missouri (SSN-780), the seventh submarine of the Virginia class, is christened by Rebecca W. Gates, the wife of the 22nd Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates, at General Dynamics Electric Boat in Groton on Saturday, Dec. 5, 2009.
The Missouri (SSN-780), the seventh submarine of the Virginia class, is christened by Rebecca W. Gates, the wife of the 22nd Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates, at General Dynamics Electric Boat in Groton on Saturday, Dec. 5, 2009.

Groton — The Navy christened its newest attack submarine, the Missouri, during a ceremony this morning at the Electric Boat shipyard.

Rebecca Gates, the ship's sponsor and wife of Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, smashed a bottle of champagne over the Missouri's hull and said, "I christen you the Missouri, may God bless her and all who sail in her."

Both Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., and Rep. Ike Skelton, D-Mo., spoke of how the Missouri will follow in the footsteps of four other great Navy ships named after the state of Missouri.

"The Navy is bound to Missouri and Missouri is bound to the Navy," Skelton said.

McCaskill, the principal speaker, said that Missouri means dignity, pride, confidence and spirit, and the seventh member of the Virginia class of submarines will embody those qualities in all of its years at sea.

"The Missouri will sail with one foot in a proud past and an eye to the future," she said.

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