The USS Enterprise, that is, not the Starship Enterprise, although as a child I often got them conflated since my father logged many months — years, actually — on “The Big E,” the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, back in the 1960s and ’70s. Before returning to homeport at Naval Station Norfolk, Va., this week, the Enterprise sailed around the globe for more than five decades and served in every major military conflict since the Cuban Missile Crisis. It’s hard to comprehend what a monumental piece of engineering an aircraft carrier is, and even today the concept of one with eight nuclear reactors boggles my mind. It will take four years to dismantle her for scrap metal, which despite my support of recycling and misgivings about nuclear power, just seems a sad ending for a fine lady. But she did serve us well. Notice in this picture, taken in the Mediterranean in 1964, what’s spelled out on the flight deck.