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Government, Politics & Issues

McCaskill, Skelton headline christening of new nuclear submarine, USS Missouri

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 6, 2009 - Amid all the Senate debate this weekend over health care, U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill found time to travel to Groton, Conn., to deliver the keynote address at christening of the U.S. Navy’s new nuclear submarine, the U.S.S. Missouri (SSN-780).

(Another U.S.S. Missouri, by the way, has key significance as the battleship that was the site of the surrender by Japan which ended World War II. That Missouri is parked in Hawaii, where the war began with the bombing of Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941 -- 68 years as of Monday.)

For Saturday's christening, McCaskill, D-Mo., was joined by U.S. Rep. Ike Skelton, D-Lexington and chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. Also at the ceremony, which involved the traditional smashing of a bottle of champagne was Becky Gates, the wife of Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.

The champagne, by the way, came from the Stone Hill Winery in Hermann , Missouri. Before the ceremony, McCaskill met with five Missouri sailors assigned to the new sub: Patrick Donovan of Springfield, John Tyhurst of Joplin, Ryan Hurston of Jefferson City, Benjamin Bowers of Ionia and Nicholas Koblick of St. Louis.

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