Why do we gather in this place?
What threads run through these deeds
That start the strands of duty's lace
To hold the ship's tradition beads?
First is the thread of the state of the art
In a weapon of naval design
That offers the promise of peace from the strength
That surprise and concealment define.
Such is the case of POLARIS on site,
As it slips through the opaque deep.
It can stay, it can hide, it can hear, it can launch,
And its vigil means free men can sleep.
Second, a thread from the stars of the Greeks,
Who have chosen the names that we know,
And placed in the heavens heroic events
As a chart by which sailors can go.
Turn from the star that centers the north
In an arc to the south where resides
CANOPUS, the steersman, who shows by his light
From the Argo a brightness that guides.
Third is the thread of tradition that comes
From Gilmore, Decatur, and Jones.
The line of devotion
to the country so strong
It runs deep to the marrow of bones.
Think--on a service to fix and repair
As the task of a crew in war's breach.
CANOPUS, the first, lies forever entombed
By her crew that fought on Bataan's beach.
We gather here a shein of thread
That has some blue and white and red.
We weave a fabric pennant bright
And hoist it high into the light.
A sign to all who look above
That this Commissioned Ship is of
The United States of America.