Our view: Namesake ship comes to call for commissioning

Bryan Crews holds his 8-month-old daughter Natalie as they board the USS Anchorage. The USS Anchorage, a Navy amphibious transport dock ship, arrived at the Port of Anchorage on Wednesday, May 1, 2013. Public tours are available on Thursday and Friday, and the boat will be commissioned on Saturday.
Marc Lester
The USS Anchorage docks Wednesday morning May 1, 2013 at the Port of Anchorage.
Erik Hill

Warm welcome

Namesake ship comes to call for commissioning

Anchorage residents and many other Alaskans have provided a fine welcome for the crew of the USS Anchorage, in port for its commissioning ceremony today.

The Anchorage arrived on Wednesday, and since then Alaskans have queued up for tours of the amphibious land and docking ship, and shown some good northern hospitality to the ship's sailors and Marines.

The response to the invitation for public tours was so strong that the city had to move one of the shuttle bus locations from the Sears Mall to the Sullivan Arena to accommodate parking. And the demand for tours far exceeded the supply -- forcing hours-long waits in line -- so those who didn't get a chance to tour the ship can see virtual tours and watch a live stream of today's commissioning ceremony at www. ussanchoragenavy.com, muni.org, or www.ktuu.com.

The warmth of the welcome is no surprise in Alaska, which has a strong military presence, more veterans per capita than any other state and a long tradition of support for men and women in the services.

We've adopted many a military son and daughter as our own no matter where they come from. Now we've got a whole crew on a Navy ship that bears the name of our largest city. Come to call anytime, USS Anchorage. And Godspeed wherever duty takes you.