On November 9, 2013, the U.S. Navy christened its newest aircraft carrier named after Michigan’s only president, Gerald R. Ford.
Sen. Carl Levin, D-Detroit, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, delivered the ceremony’s principal address. Susan Ford Bales, daughter of the 38th president, served as the ship’s sponsor, breaking a Champagne bottle against a plate welded to the hull and officially christening the ship Gerald R. Ford.
The Gerald R. Ford, designated CVN 78, honors the late president who guided the nation through the end of the Vietnam War. Ford, who was named by President Richard Nixon as vice president after Spiro Agnew resigned, was a former Michigan congressman from Grand Rapids. Ford served aboard the USS Monterey in the Pacific during World War II, and was the first president to serve aboard an aircraft carrier.
“The christening of USS Gerald R. Ford marks an important milestone in both the life of this ship and the development of our future fleet, a fleet built on the innovation that makes our Navy and Marine Corps team the finest expeditionary fighting force the world has ever known,” said Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus.
For the full article, see David Shepardson, “USS Gerald R. Ford to be christened Saturday”, Detroit News, November 7, 2013.