NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) Multi-Cultural Heritage Committee (MCHC) held a cake-cutting ceremony to begin the ship's observance of African American/Black History Month on the mess decks aboard the Floating Accommodation Facility (FAF) at Newport News Shipbuilding in Newport News Feb. 1.
The ceremony kicks off a month-long celebration for the Lincoln crew to honor the contributions of African Americans to the nation and the U.S. Navy.
African American/Black History Month honors the history and accomplishments of African Americans.
Cmdr. Louis Scott, Lincoln's maintenance officer served as guest speaker, telling his story of growing up in southern Georgia and joining the Navy a month after graduating from high school.
"My hope is that my story will inspire a young Sailor in the audience today to the possibilities that await them if they work hard and strive to be the best in everything that they do," Scott said. "Now that I'm older, I have a great appreciation for of all the experiences I had growing up in the South. Those experiences helped shape me into the man I am today, and the better person I want to be tomorrow."
During his closing remarks, Lincoln's Commanding Officer Capt. Ron Ravelo, reflected on the ship's namesake.
"I was sitting here thinking about the theme for this month (hallowed ground), and in my mind I think it's actually kind of fitting," Ravelo said. "I can't think of a ship in the U.S. Navy that is named after an individual who has done more for the cause of African Americans."
Lincoln is currently undergoing Refueling and Complex Overhaul at Newport News Shipyard, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries.
Lincoln is the fifth ship of the Nimitz-class to undergo RCOH, a major life-cycle milestone. Once RCOH is complete, Lincoln will be one of the most modern and technologically-advanced Nimitz-class aircraft carriers in the fleet and will continue to be a vital part of the nation's defense.
For more news from USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn72/.