Groton — The phrase “HoKa Hey” was once used as a battle cry by the South Dakota Oglala Lakota warrior known as Crazy Horse. Its translation is commonly thought to mean “It’s a good day to die.”
”But when ship sponsor Deanie Dempsey spoke those very words during a christening ceremony of the future submarine South Dakota (SSN-790) at Electric Boat on Saturday, they meant “Let’s go” or, specifically, “Let’s roll.”
And it was precisely this phrase that was cried back to her by the future submarine’s prospective crew of 132 — a repurposed battle cry that will stand as their motto going forward with the boat.
It was these men, their families, and those who helped build the submarine that Dempsey called to remember while speaking in front of a crowd of hundreds inside the massive assembly hall at EB Saturday morning as the company celebrated the christening of its 17th Virginia-class submarine.
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