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KITTERY, Maine — The US Navy said farewell Friday to the USS Miami, the nuclear-powered submarine whose service was cut short when a shipyard employee trying to get out of work set it on fire.
The somber deactivation ceremony at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard marked the end of the sub’s nearly 24 years of active service.
Rear Admiral Ken Perry — commander of submarine Group Two in Groton, Conn., where the sub was based — acknowledged the seriousness of the event, but told the crowd they were there to celebrate the submarine and its crew’s achievements.
‘‘This is a tribute,’’ he said. “This is a celebration of the ship’s performance and the superb contributions to the nation’s defense and this is how we’re going to treat it.”