USS Ronald Reagan Commission

Saturday July 12, 2003 -- Posted at 7:18 p.m. CDT

NORFOLK, Va. -- The U.S. Navy commissioned an aircraft carrier Saturday named after former president Ronald Reagan. This is the first time ever that a U.S. carrier has been named after a living president. The commanding officer of the Navy's newest aircraft carrier said there's not a better name for it.

The USS ``Ronald Reagan'' was officially entered into service, with a formal ceremony in Norfolk, Virginia. Former first lady Nancy Reagan was on hand to give the new crew the traditional order to man the ship and ``bring her alive.''

That set off a colorful display of thousands of sailors racing aboard the giant carrier, manning positions and spinning its radar. Vice President Cheney spoke at the ceremony, saying today's navy is a monument to the former president's vision. The nuclear-powered carrier will be based in San Diego.

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