PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - The first of the America-class amphibious assault ships for the United States Navy was christened Saturday at Huntington Ingalls Shipyard in Pascagoula.
It was a proud day for those who built the vessel and for those who will serve on it and protect our freedom.
President and CEO of Huntington Ingalls Industries Mike Petters said, "This ship wherever it sails will represent what our founding fathers laid out in the Declaration of Independence; life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."
Petters could not be more proud to show off America, the largest and most advanced warfare ships ever built, a vessel that will play a vital role in protecting our heroes, who protect our country.
"We know that the treasure of America are the people that serve America and we need to make sure they never worry about whether or not their ship is going to take care of them, we are here to take care of them," Petters said.
General James Amos credits the vessels for also ensuring freedom.
"Often even the knowledge that an employed amphibious ship is offshore loaded with marines is enough to quell the ill intentions those fermenting instability against allies," Amos said.
Assistant Secretary of the Navy Sean Stackley said, "For upon America rests our prosperity, our livelihood, our freedom and the hopes of all the world, it began as a bold and magnificent dream."
The preservation of that dream continues, thanks to the work of shipbuilders right here in South Mississippi.
"To those shipbuilders, thank you for all that you do," Petters said. "Remember as you build this ship "America" won't need it until it does, but when it does we know the crew will accomplish it's mission in part because you accomplished yours."