USS George H.W. Bush Commissioned

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

NORFOLK, Va. -- With just a week or so left in office, President George W. Bush is paying tribute Saturday to another President Bush: his father.

The president and former president both spoke at the commissioning of the USS George H.W. Bush in Norfolk, Virginia. The $6.2 billion nuclear-powered aircraft carrier will be among the largest warships in the world.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates says there's no one more worthy than Bush -- a decorated Navy pilot -- to have the last ship of the Nimitz class bear his name. Gates notes the 84-year-old Bush is "the last of the World War II generation to serve as commander in chief."

The elder Bush recalled his own experience standing watch and told the ship's crew that they "will find comfort and inspiration," particularly in the night sky.

In his weekly radio message, the current President Bush also spoke of today's U.S. service men and women. Bush says he's been given "no higher honor" than to be commander in chief of "these brave patriots."

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