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Originally published Wednesday, December 7, 2011 at 2:31 PM

USS Lincoln leaves Everett for last time

The USS Abraham Lincoln sailed away Wednesday morning for the last time from its homeport of Everett, headed to the Middle East and then to refuel its nuclear reactors in Newport News, Va.

The Associated Press

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EVERETT, Wash. —

The USS Abraham Lincoln sailed away Wednesday morning for the last time from its homeport of Everett, headed to the Middle East and then to refuel its nuclear reactors in Newport News, Va.

About 400 sailors lined the rails of the flight deck as the crew prepared to pull away from the pier. Before he boarded, the ship's commander, Capt. John Alexander, called the departure an "historic day and a bittersweet day."

"It's fitting that we are leaving on a typical Northwest day," Alexander said of the misty conditions.

Airman Lydia Campbell helped release the lines that held the ship to the pier. Her husband is on board the ship, so she said it was hard to let go of the lines.

The warship became a part of the Everett and Snohomish County landscape during the 15 years it was based at Everett Naval Station.

The Navy announced a year ago that the USS Nimitz will replace the Lincoln in early 2012. The Nimitz is still in Bremerton undergoing maintenance and repairs.

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Information from The Everett Herald: http://www.heraldnet.com

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Information from: The Daily Herald, http://www.heraldnet.com

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