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USS Enterprise carrier taken out of active service

The USS Enterprise carrier is shown during its retirement ceremony in Norfolk, Va. on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012.

December 2, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
The USS Enterprise, the world's first nuclear powered aircraft carrier, was retired from active service this weekend.

The Enterprise ended its notable 51-year career during a ceremony at its home port at Naval Station Norfolk.

The ship served in every major conflict since participating in a blockade during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Thousands of former crew members, ship builders and their families lined a pier to bid farewell to one of the most decorated ships in the Navy.

Among those taking part in the ceremony was a former Capt. Jim Mulligan, who was held as a prisoner of war in Vietnam.

The Enterprise was the largest ship in the world at the time it was built, inheriting the nickname "Big E" from a famed World War II aircraft carrier.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.