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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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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