General Dynamics

ZUMWALT KEEL LAYING, NOV 17 2011

Images from the keel laying
Before the start of the event, here's the keelplate. You'll see the initials of all four Zumwalt children - taken from their own handwriting - at the corners of the sheet of steel.
Presentation of the Colors by United States Naval Sea Cadets, Jason Dunham Division..
The three surviving Zumwalt children - James (L), Mouzetta (C) and Ann (R) during the invocation by RADM Mark Tidd, USN, Chief of Navy Chaplains and a close friend of ADM Zumwalt and his family.
We were honored to have RDML Ann Phillips, USN as our principal speaker. She is a former DDG commander and is now Director of the Surface War Division in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations.
The authentication of the keel calls for the Ship Sponsor to initial the keel. In this case, with a TIG welding rig. An experienced longtime BIW welder, Carl Pepin, assists co-sponsor Ann Zumwalt to don protective clothing and the near-opaque welder's faceshield.
Mouzetta Zumwalt-Weathers adds her graphic element to the keelplate.
Lt Col James G. Zumwalt USMC (Ret) delivers a powerful speech about his father and his legacy.
Co-sponsor Mouzetta Zumwalt-Weathers also spoke, and read a letter from President William Jefferson Clinton, another close friend of the family.
Co-sponsor Ann Zumwalt added her thoughts about the continuity and power of the seafaring tradition and its role in the history of the United States.
The three Zumwalt children with the finished keelplate and welder Carl Pepin.
James, Ann and Mouzetta Zumwalt with DML James Syring, USN, a former program manager on DDG 1000, (L), CAPT James Downey, USN, the current program manager (C), and welder Carl Pepin (R)
And here's the poetic touch: each of the three completed a single roman numeral of the suffix to the initials (bottom right) of their brother Elmo R. Zumwalt III, to symbolize his presence at the occasion.