WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- The USS Gravely is not the only thing named after Adm. Samuel Gravely. There's also a school near where he lived in Northern Virginia. Students from Gravely Elementary came to Wilmington to be part of the commissioning and get a look at the ship.
More than 60 fourth and fifth grade Seadogs from Gravely Elementary in Haymarket, VA, will proudly represent their school Saturday. The students won a raffle to be here and drove the six hours down to Wilmington Thursday. Friday, the eager Seadogs finally got to see the ship they have been learning about.
"It feels really cool because I never thought I would be here, ever. And in the beginning, I didn't know that Gravely was also a ship," said Claire Cowles, a Gravely Elementary student.
"I’ve heard about it and I’ve seen pictures, but I never thought I would be on and see it in real life.
As part of their curriculum, the students learn about the late Admiral Samuel Gravely and what he stood for,” said Brook Bowen, a Gravely Elementary student.
The school embraces Gravely's personal motto: Success = Education + Motivation + Perseverance
The students are in town to sing a song during Saturday’s commissioning ceremony. The Seadogs have been practicing for months and had one last rehearsal Friday before the big show. the song is entitled: One Nation.
"I guess its pretty much saying that even though we are all different, we're still the same," said Bowen.
Though the students leave Wilmington right after the commissioning, they are leaving a special gift for the Gravely crew. They designed and hand-painted 80 individual tiles, then glued them together to form a mosaic.
"It will be mounted in their mess hall as a remembrance and as a symbol of our G-to-G connection, the Gravely School to the Gravely Ship. A very unique opportunity that they will always know that we are with them, even though we are miles apart," said Michele Salzano, Gravely Elementary Principal.