Navy destroyer Zumwalt christened in Bath

BATH, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Shipbuilders, sailors, cadets, their families and distinguished guests... a sea of more than 5,000 people gathered to celebrate the biggest destroyer Bath has ever built.

Bath Iron Works held a christening ceremony for the Navy's newest edition, the Zumwalt DDG-1000 destroyer.

At 610 feet long and 15,000 tons, it's the largest destroyer built for the Navy.

The USS Zumwalt is named after the late Admiral Elmo "Bud" Zumwalt. He served as the youngest Chief of Naval Operation in 1970. He became known for spearheading reforms that would allow women and minorities more opportunities in the service.

U.S. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus said he served in the Navy under Zumwalt.

"Elmo Zumwalt CNO knew that the biggest edge that we had was our people. The sailors that manned these incredible ships. And that's what he devoted his career to," said Mabus. "And that's why it's so fitting that this ship was named for that, for him."

Mabus also said the ship will allow the Navy to do what it uniquely does, "not being just at the right place at the right time, but in the right place all the time."

Mouzetta Zumwalt-Weathers and Ann Zumwalt, the former admiral's daughters, each christened the ship by smashing a bottle of Champagne near its bow. They were joined at the ceremony by Zumwalt's son, retired Marine Lt. Col. Jim Zumwalt, who recalled 55 years ago, as a young boy, attending the christening of the USS Dewey, which his father commanded.


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