KITTERY, Maine — U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, praised workers at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard during the shipyard’s “Moes on the Mall” event Friday. The event, held periodically, is the official kickoff of the shipyard’s Combined Federal Campaign in support of United Way.
“It’s been an honor to represent everyone here,” Snowe said outside the shipyard’s Main Gate Friday afternoon. “Their extraordinary workforce has prevailed through all of the challenges they’ve faced.”
Snowe said she envisions a bright and robust future ahead for the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, calling the place a “national asset” and a place where government would be wise to pick up a tip or two.
“They’ve taken down all the barriers in front of them to make things work as efficiently as possible,” Snowe remarked. “They all have common missions, common goals — we need to see more of this in government, in the private sector, and even with our families.”
Snowe, who will be retiring on Jan. 3 following her third term in the Senate and a long career in office, was also presented an award Friday by the shipyard. The award, “Colors of the United States of America,” is typically awarded to fellow shipyard workers when they retire.
“She will be greatly missed for everything she has done for us over here,” said Mark Nelson, a representative for the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers. “We consider her another shipyarder.”
“It’s easy to fight for these guys,” said Snowe. “They all work so hard.”
And when told not to take it easy for too long following her retirement, Snowe quickly replied she had no such plans.
“I can’t sit down for very long,” she joked. “That’s part of my issue.”
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