EVERETT, Wash. (NNS) -- USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) opened its brow, hangar bay and flight deck to members of the public July 4, as part of Naval Station Everett's Family Freedom Festival.
Approximately 5,000 visitors were treated to an up-close look at the Everett-based, Nimitz-class aircraft carrier during the event, which lasted from noon to 6 p.m. For many of the guests, it was a once-in-a-lifetime chance to stand inside an aircraft carrier's cavernous hangar bay and atop its four-acre flight deck.
"My brother was in the Navy and I always wondered what it's like on a Navy ship," said Alice Rumsey, a retiree who lives in Everett. "Seeing how massive everything is -- I'm just flabbergasted, and it's such a patriotic experience being here on the Fourth of July."
Under sunny skies and warm weather, Lincoln's Sailors rolled out the red carpet for the visitors, who were invited to roam and ask questions, and to ride one of the ship's four aircraft elevators up to the flight deck. Sailors also hosted interactive displays to show off the facilities and technology aboard the ship.
"We've been tying a lot of knots for people, showing off the man overboard dummy, and just answering general questions about what it's like to live and work on a carrier," said Seaman Brandon Anderson, assigned to Deck Department's display booth. "I'm having fun; I'm a show-and-tell kind of guy and I love seeing people take an interest in what we do."
According to Lincoln's executive officer, Capt. Thomas Nosenzo, the public visiting was a way of giving back to a community that has supported Lincoln so well over the years.
"Everett is a great community and a fantastic homeport and we wanted to take advantage of the opportunity we had to let the public come on board so we could show them a little of what Lincoln and the Navy are all about," Nosenzo said.
Following the public visiting, Lincoln Sailors and their families were treated to Fourth of July fireworks viewing and refreshments on the ship's flight deck. Lincoln recently returned to Everett following a nine-month shipyard availability at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton.
For more news from USS Abraham Lincoln, visit www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn72/.