Saturday, March 24, 2007
It's the end of the line for what the commander of US Fleet Forces calls "an icon of American might and freedom." The 1,000-foot long aircraft carrier, USS John F. Kennedy, has been decommissioned after nearly 40-years of service. About 7,000 former crew members and military dignitaries gathered Friday at Mayport Naval Station in Florida to say their goodbyes to the steam-powered ship known affectionately as "Big John."
USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67)Captain Todd Zecchin, the ship's final skipper, presided over the ceremony. The event ended with the lowering of the ship's flag and more than 2,000 sailors in dress blues marching off for the last time. The Kennedy's in-port cabin, designed by Jacqueline Kennedy, will go to a Navy museum. The carrier will be towed to Philadelphia, where it will be placed on inactive status.