WASHINGTON, D.C.) - Yesterday, U.S. Senator Patty Murray addressed the crew of the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln as it returned home to Everett from a ten-month deployment. The Abraham Lincoln was scheduled to return home in December 2002 after completion of a six-month mission in the Persian Gulf supporting the Global War on Terrorism when it was ordered to make a “U-Turn” back to the Gulf to support what would later become Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Over the ship’s public address system, Rear Admiral John M. Kelly directed the disappointed crew to, “Get over it.” The order became the rallying cry of the ship’s 5,500 sailors and pilots, with some crewmembers selling “U-Turn: Get over it” T-Shirts to their fellow sailors.
Murray’s remarks aboard the Lincoln follow.
“Rear Admiral Kelly, Captain Card, Governor Locke, Members of Congress, elected officials, and most of all - the crew of the Lincoln, I was originally scheduled to be in Washington, D.C. today to vote in the Senate, but when I heard that the Lincoln was finally coming back home to Everett, I told my colleagues, “I’m making a U-Turn. Get over it.”
All of you made a U-turn on your trip back home, and that means you’ve earned this homecoming not just once - but twice - and we’re all here to show you how grateful we are for your service.
After our country was attacked on September 11th, you answered the call of duty and helped fight the global War on Terrorism. As you were returning home, you were called back for another mission, and once again, you answered that call with skill and courage. You are the reason we are all so proud of our military, and you’re coming home to a very warm welcome.
I want you to know that our community will be here for you - not just in the next 2 hours or 2 months - but over the long haul because we care about you as people. Even after the festivities are over, we’re ready to support you whenever you need us. Thank you again, and welcome home.”