First lady signs off on submarine

NORTH KINGSTOWN — The pomp of a submarine keel-laying ceremony took on added circumstance Monday as First Lady Michelle Obama chalked her initials onto a steel plate for a welder to trace in metal to become a permanent part of the Virginia-class attack submarine Illinois.

“Can I just break with protocol and say, this is really cool,” Mrs. Obama said in remarks before inscribing her initials, as she stood in front of a towering American flag with a nearly 40-foot-tall section of the Illinois looming behind her.

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