'Last call' for reunions of old Long Beach Naval Shipyard employees

LONG BEACH, Calif. -- Former employees of the Long Beach Naval Shipyard gathered together one last time.

The historic shipyard closed in 1997.

But its employees have organized annual reunion picnics ever since.

This year's picnic, dubbed "Last Call," was the final one.

More than 200 former shipyard employees and their families attended the event.

They participated in a flag ceremony. And reminisced through stories and old photographs. There was also a raffle of some historic items.

Through the years, the shipyard helped modernize military ships and employed thousands of people.

The shipyard's workload shrunk when the Long Beach Naval Station, once home port to 39 ships, closed in September 1994.