First lady Michelle Obama visits New England

NORTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (WTNH)–Michelle Obama was in our neck of the woods on Monday, spending the day at the Electric Boat manufacturing plant in Rhode Island to take part in a Navy tradition.

The first lady sponsored a submarine that represented her home state of Illinois.

With the pre-commissioning crew of the USS Illinois standing at attention and the shipbuilders of Electric Boat’s Quonset Point facility filling the audience, Obama thanked those building SSN 786 and those who will man it.

“You all know that the work of keeping our country safe and secure will never be over and our Navy is a daily testament to that truth,” Obama said.

She also recognized the sacrifice of the crews’ families.

“When Ms. Obama relates with that it really brings value and support to our family members back home,” said Commander Jess Porter.

Monday’s duty was to sign her initials on a piece of steel. Those initials made permanent by welder Michael Macomber and later will become a permanent part of the ship.

The First Lady is the ship’s sponsor but her daughters Sasha and Melia are its maids of honor.

“Know that you have three really solid Chicago girls that are very excited to support this vessel,” Obama said.

Some of the workers who build these submarines were also there to watch the ceremony. News 8 was told that because of this, they weren’t able to do their regular work, but that they will deliver the submarine on time. It’s expected to be delivered to the Navy in August 2016.

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