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Washington Christening, March 5, 2016

The day before the ceremony, Washington's crew gathers in front of their submarine for a photo. Photo by Chris Oxley

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On the morning of the christening, guests get an up close look at Washington as they enter the ceremony site. Photo by John Whalen

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Guests are allowed to bring personal cameras and take photos with the submarine. Photo by Ricky Thompson

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Washington (SSN 787) is all dressed up for her christening. Photo by Ricky Thompson

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At their seats, guests are greeted with an American flag and a ceremony program. Photo by Ricky Thompson

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The crew of the future USS Washington can't hide their excitement before the ceremony begins. Photo by Ricky Thompson

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Gathered around Chief of the Boat Adam Burchette, the crew sneaks in a selfie.

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The United States Fleet Forces Band, conducted by Lieutenant Robert Coats, performs live during the ceremony. Photo by Dar Mook

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The Mabus party pauses for a group photo with the submarine as they arrive at the ceremony site. Photo by Chris Oxley

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Shipbuilder Keith White, who has worked on submarines for 13 years, sings the national anthem as the ceremony gets underway. Photo by Chris Oxley

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The podium sign, made from laser-cut birch wood, is just one of the many special touches adorning the ceremony site. Photo by John Whalen

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Newport News Shipbuilding President Matt Mulherin welcomes all in attendance. Photo by Ricky Thompson

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More than 2,000 attended the ceremony in-person. Photo by Chris Oxley

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Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus serves as the keynote speaker, introducing his daughter and Ship's Sponsor Elisabeth Mabus. Photo by John Whalen

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A commemorative bucket holds water carefully transported from Washington's Puget Sound just for the christening. Photo by John Whalen

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Elisabeth Mabus dips the christening bottle in water from Washington's Puget Sound. Photo by John Whalen

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Elisabeth Mabus breaks the christening bottle over the submarine's bow. Photo by John Whalen

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With a laugh of joy and relief, Elisabeth Mabus soaks in the historic moment. Photo by John Whalen

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Shipbuilder Tysheka Simpson presents the commemorative bucket to Elisabeth Mabus. Photo by Dar Mook

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Shipbuilder Richard Spratley III presents Elisabeth Mabus with a wooden box containing the broken christening bottle. Both the box and the casing for the bottle are handmade by shipbuilders. Photo by Dar Mook

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