Ah, American military might. Much like a bald eagle spreading its wings and taking flight from a Mt. Shasta ridge on a dewy July morn or the throaty roar of a 1967 Pontiac GTO being revved at a stoplight, there are few things that say “America” quite like the implements of our defense being manned by the heroes who use them.
That’s what makes this video of the USS Kitty Hawk so awesome.
When it was decommissioned in 2009, the Kitty Hawk was the last active member of its class of oil-fired aircraft carriers. It was commissioned in 1961, meaning it spent 48 years cutting through the choppy seas of the world.
And don’t let its age fool you. It may have been constructed during the Eisenhower administration, but it was anything but superannuated. Take a look at how it cut through harsh waves like a hot knife through butter:
The video was uploaded in 2008, just one year before the Kitty Hawk was decommissioned. As you can see, nearly half a century in and the ship was still up to the task.
The video has amassed over 4,200,000 views on YouTube, and you can definitely see why. That’s awe-inspiring.
When the Navy decommissioned it in 2009, Kitty Hawk Commanding Officer Capt. Todd Zecchin said that it was “hard to capture the feeling in words.”
“This is the second aircraft carrier that I’ve decommissioned, and it doesn’t hit you immediately until you’ve lowered the commissioning pennant for the last time,” Zecchin said. “She has served her country for almost 50 years — 48 years and 13 days, across the globe … There have been a lot of sailors that have crossed her decks, a lot of airmen that have flown off and on her decks.”
And a lot of epic moments like that one. Here’s to you, USS Kitty Hawk. You did not go gentle into that good shipyard.
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