BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore’s rich Naval heritage came to life on Saturday with the Blue Angels soaring overhead, and the Navy’s newest warship commissioned in front of hundreds.
It was the perfect combination to highlight the majestic feel of Fleet Week in Baltimore, and the right tone as the city is chosen to be the commissioning site for the the navy’s newest warship.
“For the President of the United States, I hearby place United States Ship Zumwalt in commission. May God bless and guide this warship and all who shall sail in her,” proclaimed Secretary of the Navy, Honorable Ray Maybus.
In front of a huge crowd in Locust Point, the flag is then raised on the USS Zumwalt.
Navy Captain James Kirk, a Maryland native and graduate of the US Naval Academy is commander of the 600-foot destroyer.
The $4.4 billion dollar vessel is filled with cutting edge technology, and has a major local tie. The ship is named in honor of Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt, a Naval Academy graduate – credited with opening doors for women and minorities in the navy.
“He really opened up the navy for african americans, all minorities. Filipinos who were relegated to just doing kitchen and cooks, now could be apart of any part of the navy,” said his daughter Ann Zumwalt.
The USS Zumwalt will now make it’s way to San Diego for further installations, training, and testing.
Fleet Week is going through Sunday, October 16. U.S. & Canadian Navy ships will be open for public touring in the Inner Harbor, Fells Point, and Locust Point from 1-6 p.m. on Sunday.