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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Wheel from USS George H.W. Bush presented to presidential library

Photo by Photo by Meredith Seaver

Sailors stationed on the USS George H.W. Bush presented the ship’s wheel to their sponsor, Dorothy “Doro” Bush Koch, and the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library.

Sailors from the USS George H.W. Bush Supercarrier visited The George Bush Presidential Library and Museum Saturday afternoon to present the ship’s wheel in honor of President George H.W. Bush, whose legacy is remembered for his time as both president and naval serviceman.
Captain Sean Bailey and the crew of USS George H.W. Bush Supercarrier, along with the ship’s sponsor Dorothy Bush Koch, the daughter of President H.W. Bush, gathered to pay tribute to the former president by presenting the wheel to be placed in the exhibit at the Presidential Library and Museum. The USS George H.W. Bush Supercarrier was the tenth and final Nimitz-class aircraft carrier made. Bush was the first president to attend the christening of his namesakes’ ship, according to Warren Fitch, director of the Bush Presidential Library.
Fitch commenced the ceremony by briefly stating the history of the ship before honoring the Sailors of the Year. As the room filled with applause in honor of the service of the crew members, Fitch presented the crew with an appreciation flag and coin to each member on behalf of the Bush Presidential Library.
Bailey described the thought behind each component of the wheel, which was carefully aimed to honor the late president. Just as a ship’s helm is used to keep the ship steady in adverse weather, the design of the helm symbolizes Bush’s sturdy hand on the nation. A cutout of the state of Texas with an American flag background symbolizes President H.W. Bush’s home, and to represent the beginning of the ship’s life, a coin from the ship’s commissioning was placed in the cutout of Texas. Accompanying the laser signature of the late president, a quote from Bush is inscribed to signify the importance of standing firm, especially against aggression.
“The significance is that this is a special gift created by some of the original crew members of the ship,” Bailey said. “It was designed to not only signify the president’s service to his nation, but also represents our tie in with our ship, so that is why we chose the ships wheel or the helm design…”
Inspired by the creativity of the sailors, Koch thanked the creators of the helm and emphasized how much the carrier had meant to her father. She went on to recognize the sailors of the year for their service.
“This is really important because he was a naval aviator and he served on an aircraft carrier, and one of the greatest honors of his life was to have a carrier named after him,” Koch said. “And he was alive at Ka Lăng — the christening and the commissioning — and was able to see the ship come to life and be deployed. He was so proud of everybody on the ship.”
Class of 1968 and Vietnam veteran Wesley Bonner has been a member of the library foundation since it started and said the fact that the carrier was named after the president is a significant point in naval history.
“To recognize his service not only as a naval airman, but also as president of the country and then to be able to put that wheel into the library museum, I think it gives something for everyone that comes here to look at it and reflect on what he gave us,” Bonner said.

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