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Thousands gather for USS Enterprise farewell ceremony

By Jon Hall,
William Shatner was not one of them

Thousands of former crew members and their families were in attendance for the farewell ceremony of the first nuclear powered aircraft carrier. The USS Enterprise was officially retired on Friday, commemorating 50 years of service.

According to Reuters, the 1,123-foot Enterprise was commissioned in 1961. It housed eight nuclear reactors and was heavily used in conflicts including the Cuban Missile Crisis, Vietnam, and the Middle East.

The ceremony was held at the Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia and around 12,000 people participated in the ceremony.

After remaining at the Navy Station for several months, the USS Enterprise will be moved to a shipyard where the nuclear reactors will be dismantled and removed. From there the ship will be scrapped.

Captain Kirk himself was originally planning on attending the service, however William Shatner's schedule change forced him away last minute.

"My thoughts and well wishes go out as the USS Enterprise is decommissioned today. I had hoped to attend but a schedule snafu prevented it..." Shatner tweeted. "...I salute all who sailed on her and worked to make this country safe. For that I thank you. My very best to Enterprise, Bill."

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