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NewsChannel 3 to broadcast sub commissioning live


We've heard from many of you wanting to attend Saturday's commissioning of the submarine USS North Carolina. But with security so tight and only 5,000 tickets available for invited guests, many people won't be able to go. But that does not mean you will have to miss out on the historic events.

NewsChannel 3 will broadcast the commissioning ceremony live from the Port of Wilmington. Steve Rondinaro will anchor our live coverage starting at 10 a.m. Saturday.

Also, don't miss special editions of Good Morning Carolina Friday morning and NewsChannel 3 at 5, 5:30 and 6 Friday evening live dockside at the Port of Wilmington. Several special guests will join us to talk about the newest USS North Carolina and the significance of its commissioning here in Wilmington.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.


My son is serving on the USS

My son is serving on the USS North Carolina. He is a part of the first crew ever to do so. We were supposed to get tickets for this event & travel to NC to attend. The tickets never arrived. I was disappointed, but nevertheless, we support him, we thank the city of Wilmington for their support of him. He said that people were cheering when they came ashore. Lined the streets when they did their run. Had lunch w/WWII vets... amazing. The fireworks were a real treat he said. The citizens of Wilmington were wonderful. He told me stories of signing autographs, having his lunch/dinner paid for when they would go out. Thank you Wilmington for your support.


In reference to the comment that I was personally invited to attend the event...WRONG! I Did NOT attend....however it was noted that the several children that were in attendance ( bored as their little minds might have been) their father's were serving on the doesn't matter what anyone writes, someone somewhere will be unhappy..

Submarine Warfare

Yes, there have been complaints about the handling of this event. Everyone could not have things the way they would have most enjoyed. Yes, everyone could not be included in all parts. But yes, the firworks were incredible! That was an inspiring part of the celebration where everyone could live the spirit of the celebration. WOW!


Fireworks are great - if you enjoy seeing tax dollars go up in smoke.

USS North Carolina

I realize that security needs to be tight around the new USS North Carolina. I am a retired USAF Master Sergeant. I served over twenty years fighting for my country to keep it safe and all who live here free. I maintained a Secret security clearance and I guess to some degree still carry that clearance. I was born in Gastonia NC, spent 20 plus years living in different parts of the good old USA and some foreign countries. I chose to return to North Carolina and Wilmington to make it my permanent home. It would have been nice to take part in an event such as this that my only take place once in a life time. I am sorry that after serving twent years protecting this country, I do not have the finances to secure a seat at the commissioning of The USS North Carolina. A dissapointed Veteran.

Security the REAL reason?

If security was the real reason then why did they GIVE AWAY several thousand tickets to people of influence to use to distribute for their own friends and such? None of those ticket holders can be vetted for this. If security was a real reason then it would only be for the closely connected and vetted people that would pose NO security threat. Instead, a whole bunch of tickets are given out to the public officials that are most closely associated with this event, and they are told to invite who they will, but no more than the number of tickets that they are given. What if several of those tickets were given to terrorists that wanted to do something? Some were given to New Hanover County Commissioners that are clearly criminals, just not on trial yet. What is someone in a crowd like that going to be able to do? I'd be more worried about terrorists seeking alternate methods. What if they had a RPG and wanted to shoot from the Hilton or the parking deck? How about some novice scuba bomber? Easier and cheaper than airline pilot training. Much more likely problem might arise from the New Hanover County Commissioners overlooking the pollution in the Cape Fear River and the Northeast Cape Fear River and that crap (pardon the pun) seeping through the hull of the nuclear sub and hurting something. Biological warfare from a river born source from stupid county oversight or mismanagement. Sailors don't slip, that water is brown for more than one reason. And you don't wanna drown in that crap!

Coolest thing

This is the coolest thing that has happened in Wilmington, NC in a long time. I'm glad the Navy's new Virginia-class of submarine, USS North Carolina will be commissioned here! Estimated at over $2.6 billion, the nation's newest fast-attack submarine is the U.S. Navy's 4th vessel to be named North Carolina.

Who’s Who Event

Only 5,000 tickets available for invited guests! This was a poor Public relations move. If you cannot allow all to attend, why have this in the first place. After all, we are all tax payers, many are vets. This is just another who’s who event in the Port City, another garden party?

Hosh Posh. We are

Hosh Posh. We are definatlely not part of any political party or any such hoity toity group. We are simply military family members and should have first dibs on such an event. There is way too much complaining and pettiness. If you have a better solution for transportation then suggest that to someone who should hear it. As for allowing Everyone to come...impossible. There has to be a cut off somewhere. I thought those in charge did a bang up job in all areas. My only suggestion would be to have the goodie bags ready to be handed out instead of people standing in line and putting it together themselves. AND also to only allow 1 per person. I saw people w/ 3 or 4 bags...and I got NONE. Sure would have been nice to have a souvenir of such a historic and exciting event that I was fortunate to witness.


Considering the state of security needed in our World today, I find it very fitting to have the added security. Lord knows we need to be as cautious as possible, PREVENTION helps "nip it in the bud" so to speak. For those of you NOT wanting to watch it televised live, please don't try to even justify it with selfish reasons.....BE SUPPORT OF OUR MILITARY that they fight for our freedom...including yours everyday!


As a Navy veteran excluded from the ceremony, I really enjoyed seeing numerous 7-8 year old kids not even paying attention.

You can tell

The comment by guest567 was written by somone who gets to go see the sub. Like Wilmington has terrorists. Please!

It's not a matter of being selfish

It's certainly not a matter of not supporting the military. It IS a matter of me spending twenty-two years in that military, and now being told that I can't even go see her be commissioned because "important guests" have all the invitations. Typical Wilmington City attitude - "You peasants need to go away." I wonder how many of those "important guests" served?

I love how this event took

I love how this event took so much work to bring the commonishing to NC , then alone Wilmington, I guess I misundertsood the vessels name U.S.S North Carolina, yet the regular people of North Carolina aren't even allowed to see this. Really gald all that hard work to bring it here has paid off.

you said it in a nutshell. i

you said it in a nutshell. i cant beleive that us taxpayers money paid for that thing and we can not even attend, whats wrong with this picture.

Don't forget your tax

Don't forget your tax dollars.

Sub Coverage

I agree with the other response as to why we can't atleast see it docked. I really would be interested in seeing it from a far. Obviously the public can't get a tour of the inside and that is understandable. Oh well, I really don't think I will be watching the live coverage on TV. It's just not the same. Wilmington is such a historic place, so why not share these events with the people who live here?

Take a ride

Take a ride on the riverboat Henrietta! Simply go down to the dock, pay to board, get your fat butt up there and then get an eyeful. It might even start to make you prideful of the Cape Fear Wilmington Waterfront and be proud of what we take for granted. You lazy b*tching really gets us nowhere.


Thanks for televising the commissioning, but there is no reason to exclude the public.

Who Cares

Who cares if it is being filmed live...WE SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO WATCH THE WHOLE THING IN PERSON!!!!!!!!!!

Submarine Commissioning

I agree 100%. They have been announcing this all week long without a mention of limited seating to invited guests only. MY tax dollars helped pay for it, MY husband fights for it as a member of the Marine Corps and I should have a right to see it should I choose to. My kids were so excited that there was a submarine and it broke their hearts not to be able to see it up close. I thinks it's pathetic how the government treats its tax payers these days!!!

Take it back to Norfolk to commision it

If you are going make such a big deal over this Sub at least let the public see it or take it back to Norfolk and commision it. We realize the public can not take a tour on, but what is the harm of letting the public at least look at it docked. I have a son who is 16 and interested in going in the Navy and wanted to see the Sub. If any body should be able to see the Sub it should be our young adults(future veterans) and veterans. How many people do you think is going to watch this on TV if they can't at least see it in person. None



The Whiners Don't Deserve Limburger Cheese

In this case, those who felt slighted by not having at least a public ceremony have a point. First, most ordinary folk knew that they didn't stand a snowballs chance in Hades on boarding that sub. All they wanted was a good 'ol time down on the water front. These folks are patriots who love our armed services and are proud that another vessel has been named for our great state. They didn't have to be close in proximity to that boat. Crying about the cost? Heck, Wilmington could have charged five bucks a head and invited vendors. Everyone would have been happy. In some cases, those allowed a ticket had postured via a good 'ol boy network. This sucked! In other cases, some worthy Navy vets had gotten ADVANCED permission to attend (hats off to them). In the case of the ham radio guys who had postured themselves to stage a "dog and pony show" (as one fellow put it), it was just that. These two have served the Azalea Coast Amateur Radio Club well but for personal reasons (photo op for QST magazine), they kept very quiet about their ego induced opportunity. In conclusion, the public paid for this boat, they should have at least been able to celebrate. Why could we not have had at least some proud vets hailing its arrival and its departure. This was poor planning on the governments part, whether it was on the local level or federal level.

To Pat......You and people

To Pat......You and people like yourself are part of the reason that the government pretty much controls our lives. You just take what they tell you without question and do/don't do it. Taxpayers paid for the sub and paid to bring it here. The least that could have been done was to hold some sort of a lottery to be fair to all. I fully agree with the other poster who said to take it back to where it came from to commission it. A lot of taxpayer dollars would have been saved.

She didn't suggest boarding

She didn't suggest boarding the sub. She specifically said she understands the public can't go on board. She was just wanting to see the outside. Perhaps you should read her post more carefully before you scream at her.

its a sub google it

travel to southport monday afternoon say 4pm stand on the peir and watch it go by. it is just a sub, its black and you can see a whole 6ft sticking out of the water. you cannot access the ports on a regular day, what makes you think that you can access the ports when a navy vessel is being commissioned? I hope you all are as savy on the presidential candidates and issues as you are about a fricken sub.

its a submarine google it.

Drive down to southport and stand on the peir. You can get a good look there. Here let me describe it to you its black and you can see the top 6 ft sticking out of the water. geez........ its a fricken submarine. you cannot access the port on a normal day why would you think you can access it when a new sub is at the port?