I had a great cruise on the Big E, as did untold thousands of us. He was there for the deactivation, and I think he hit the right note;
When you see your old ship that you gave 3 years of your life to serving being deactivated and headed to the scrap yard it stirs emotions in even the hardest souls.
I can't describe it adequately to those who haven't lived it. I can only say that time and distance can't erase the memories. When I crossed the quarterdeck and saluted the Ensign, I was back in MY Enterprise with my shipmates. Every memory was vivid and clear. The smells of a warship are pungent and strong as they should be.
I looked at my old ship and saw ghosts of my former life, recalling the noises, the staccato of a distant grinder or jackhammer, the static of a warfare radio call on the net, the whistles and bells announcing a change in the routine only a crew member can know.
The smells of jet fuel, fresh paint, head cleaner and yes Coffee! I looked at the Enterprise and saw a tired lady with a lot of life left, and I saw the youth in even the oldest of her veteran crew members.
Good night Big E. You were always there when we needed you and you will live on in those of us who served.