U.S. Puts New Aircraft Carrier Into Action

President George W. Bush landed Saturday on the USS George H.W. Bush, a new aircraft carrier named after his father — the ultimate honor for a decorated Navy pilot from World War II.

With just days left in his presidency, Bush and first lady Laura Bush joined his father, now 84 years old, and other Bush family members at Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia for the commissioning of the nuclear-powered carrier.

“Laura and I are thrilled to be here to help commission an awesome ship and to honor an awesome man,” Bush said. “So what do you give a guy who has been blessed and has just about everything he has ever needed? Well, an aircraft carrier.”

In this Dec. 19, 2008 photo former U.S. President George H.W. ... 
In this Dec. 19, 2008 photo former U.S. President George H.W. Bush is seen at his office in Houston. The Navy’s newest nuclear-powered aircraft carrier will be commissioned Saturday, Jan. 10, 2009, during a ceremony at Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia. Behind him is a portrait of the USS San Jacinto, the carrier he served on during World War II. (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Smiley N. Pool)

By DEB RIECHMANN, Associated Press Writer

The steel-gray vessel is more than three football fields long, one in the Nimitz class of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers that are the largest warships on the world. Its price tag is just as hefty: $6.2 billion.

The mood was celebratory aboard the ship, spit and polished for its unveiling. The Marine One presidential helicopter ferried the president, his father and their wives to the ship.

It was sunny, but a chilly breeze blew across the deck of the ship as the president, his father and their wives got off the helicopter with their wives. The elder Bush, sporting a purple scarf inside his overcoat, walked with a cane from the helicopter to a golf cart. He got in the back seat with former first lady Barbara Bush; the president grinned and waved as he took the driver’s seat with his wife by his side.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090110/a
p_on_go_pr_wh/bush

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