USS North Carolina commissioned

It was standing room only Saturday as more than 6,000 people packed the Port of Wilmington for the commissioning of the submarine North Carolina. She is now officially the USS North Carolina. A crowd laden with veterans looked on as the flags that had flown that morning on the Battleship North Carolina were hoisted aboard the sub. Amidst extremely heavy security, the Secretary of the Navy was here to give the command that made it all official. "It was exciting," Petty Officer Lee Bolling said. "It was emotional because we worked so hard to get the sub to this point." That North Carolina pride permeated the day, even up to the admiral. Navy Secretary Donald Winter was pleased with the day despite initial uncertainty. Among those standing most proudly, the guys who paved the way to today: North Carolina's submarine veterans. "It's just great. It makes the tradition continue and we're glad to be here," said Dick Kanning, a submarine vet. The sub is leaving Monday afternoon, heading down the Cape Fear river at 2:00. That will be your next best chance to see it.

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The invitations clearly asked that you arrive at the mall as early as possible- they suggested 0730. We arrived early and had very little wait.
I thought the planning amazing as well. The only part that didn't work as smoothly was the buses out! That was a long wait, but done as efficiently as possible. Loads of fun, and my father, in his 27th year in the Navy, says this is the coolest thing he's ever been a part of. It was awesome!
I enjoyed it. I cannot begin to how to describe how disappointed I was that the governor did not attend. I guess OUR GOVERNOR was too busy campaigning for some "lady" that wants to be President to attend the Commissioning of a ship in our state's name. I think it's pretty sad, but guess he's been promised some type of appointment if that "lady" gets elected. He should remember that North Carolina and his is first responsibility.
THAT "LADY" HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH WHAT THE MAYOR CHOSES TO DO. APPARENTLY THERE IS A LOT OF ADULTS THAT NEED TO DO A LOT OF GROWING WITHIN THEIR SELVES AND QUIT COMPLANING SO MUCH. BE HAPPY YOU'RE ALIVE AND BREATHING WORRY ABOUT YOUR SELVES AND WE WILL BE ONE STEP CLOSER TO A BETTER WORLD.
come on Wilmington, there could have been more people there, What did you sell those invites? And for those who got one quit bitching!!!
in tarnation are you guys complaining about? I went..I thought it was AWESOME. I had no problems with transportation. BUS was the ONLY way to transport 6000 people to that location..I don't know of ANY other transportation that could have been used. Parking 6000 cars would have been even MORE of a nightmare! As far as the warehouse and food...THOSE GUYS DID AWESOME AS WELL...have you guys ever tried to feed 6000 individuals AT ONCE? Food was ALWAYS on the tables, Water and sodas were ALWAYS in the coolers and the trashcans from what I saw were never full. For the number of people that were transported and fed...it was FLAWLESS!
It was free. No, it wasn't perfect, but it was free. Think of the thousands of people that wanted to be there and were turned away. Yea, at least that many were turned away. So quit bitching and whining and be thankful that you were invited to be there or complain to the person who got you the invitation and tell them that you don't appreciate what they tried to do for you. nuff said.
I was appalled by the poor transportation planning by Mayor Saffo's croney. Moving several thousand people in groups of 50 by charter bus is a logistical nightmare when it's done well-- and Saturday's ceremony was NOT done well. I was one of the 500 or so ticketed people who stood at the mall for almost two hours only to be told to go stand somewhere else to get on a bus. There were no bathrooms available in the line, and there were many elderly folks waiting (many of them veterans) who required the use of canes and walkers. I witnessed many folks leaving simply because they needed to find a restroom or a place for an aged family member to sit down. What a disappointment it was to see excited, eager people be forced to make that choice. I am afraid that the city of Wilmington did not do a very good job of impressing out-of-town guests with our hospitality and grace. It is very unfortunate that the person in charge of planning this event did not have the foresight or intelligence to plan it well. For many, the majesty of the day will be marred by the memory of waiting in interminable lines and being shuffled around like cattle. It is terribly sad that a once-in-a-lifetime event will be remembered in this manner.
The City of Wilmington was not involved in any of the planning or logistics. The three entities involved in the planning were the State Ports, the US Navy, and the USS NC Committee, of which the Mayor was not the chairperson. Perhaps the poor organization came from a breakdown between these three groups. The Navy doesn't control the State Port, so it had to be difficult for them to do anything as far as getting people through security.
Check your facts. The mayor's office was HEAVILY involved in the planning of the commissioning. Any official calls concerning the actual ceremony or any of the events were fielded to the mayor's office. For you to say that the city was not involved in any planning is ridiculous-- city police were used in the transportation and security, the city donated $50,000 of OUR tax money to pay for the event, and the mayor appointed the liasion between the city and the navy himself. Saffo's name is all over this one-- just like he likes it!
Thanks wway for the great coverage. I would loved to have been there.
I went to this--the hour or so of the ceremony was very inspiring and moving as a former submariner. But holy cow was the parking and bus situation CHAOTIC. It took two hours to get from the mall to the ports---what is that about 5 miles? Maybe 4? And the same on the way home---we stood for about an hour in a stuffy paper warehouse. Overall--it was cool, but the logistics left something to be desired...
you were blessed to receive tickets. what a shame that some people are not happy with what they get, no matter what it is. next time send your tickets to me so i can take my son to a historic event, and you won't hear me complaining about logistics!!!!
My inflections dont come thru in my post--I stated that it was very moving and inspiring. I do realize that I was blessed to be able to go. All I said was that the parking situation left something to be desired and it was chaotic... I would do it all over again--I guess I was looking for others who went to see if they thought the same thing---and it seems that they did, but maybe we should stop commenting on the parking deal when so many people that wanted to go, couldn't.
Scoutleader-- I don't think this is a case of people being hard to please. There were legitimate problems with the logistics of the ceremony. Having several thousand people stand in an unorganized queue for a couple of hours without access to bathrooms is a REAL problem. There were many elderly folks who were forced to make the decision between standing painfully in line or missing out on the event. Most of the people I encountered were grateful for and respectful of the ceremony. The problem was with the planning of the transportation.
Oh, come on......Stop the crying about the stuffy warehouse, and the parking...You were lucky...You got to get in and see the commissioning.....Some of us never got in at all....