This Saturday both South Dakota and the U.S. Navy marked a historic moment in Groton, Connecticut.
"To the people of South Dakota, take pride in knowing that this submarine will deliver freedom, everywhere she sails," Newport News Shipbuilding President Jennifer Boykin said.
Navy officials and other dignitaries from around the nation christened the new U.S.S. South Dakota submarine Saturday.
South Dakota Senator Mike Rounds and Governor Dennis Daugaard were two of the featured speakers at the christening ceremony where everyone celebrated the new state-of-the-art submarine and crew named for the Mount Rushmore state.
“Today on behalf of a very grateful state of South Dakota, we thank you the ship builders for all of your hard work,” Senator Round said.
“As the U.S.S. South Dakota is officially christened, I wish all of you and the U.S.S. crew, all of South Dakota joins me in wishing you safe passage through the deep,” Governor Daugaard said.
Lt. Governor Matt Michaels, a Navy veteran, was also at Saturday’s Christening ceremony. He helped to lead a state committee that is working to build a strong connection between South Dakota and the U.S.S. South Dakota crew. Many crew members have visited the state for special events over the past year.
This submarine is the third U.S. navy vessel to be named after South Dakota and is the first underwater vessel to bear the state's name.