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Holland Boy Scouts leave for USS Gerald R. Ford ceremony

7:08 PM, Nov 7, 2013   |    comments
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HOLLAND, Mich. (WZZM) -- U.S military history is in the making this weekend with the celebration of a new U.S. warship that has strong ties to West Michigan.

A christening ceremony for the USS Gerald R. Ford is planned for Saturday in Newport News, Virginia. On Thursday, a group of Boy Scouts from Holland left on a journey to be part of the ceremony for the state-of-the-art aircraft carrier.

The Boy Scouts took pride in the trip because President Gerald Ford was a former scout and became an Eagle Scout. 23 Boy Scouts in Holland left on a bus that stopped in Otswego to pick up 13 others, before making the 14 hour drive to Virginia. They're expected to arrive at 8 a.m. on Friday.

The boy scouts are expected to take part in the christening ceremony for the USS Gerald R Ford by helping with the flag procession. Organizers call it the chance of a lifetime.

"They'll have 78 flags, the flags will be in an arch leading to the dry dock, leading to the christening area and the boys will be holding the flags," says Robert Dawson, assistant scout master for troop 316 in Holland. "30 years from now when these boys are sitting around watching TV or doing something else, they're going to look at it and say, 'Hey I was there at the christening.'"

The Boy Scouts paid for the trip themselves by selling popcorn, flowers, and Christmas wreaths. The ceremony is at 11 a.m. on Saturday and they will return to Michigan later that day.

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