US Warship USS Gabrielle Giffords commissioned in Texas

00:10  11 june  2017
00:10  11 june  2017 Source:   Associated Press

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TUCSON (KVOA) - A Navy combat ship named after former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords will be commissioned in Texas this weekend. Navy officials say ceremonies will be held Saturday in Galveston for the 5 million warship USS Gabrielle Giffords .

The 421-foot USS Gabrielle Giffords will be commissioned this weekend in Texas . Free public tours of the warship are available each afternoon through Friday in Galveston. San Diego will be its homeport.

Former Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords speaks during a commissioning ceremony for the USS Gabrielle Giffords in Galveston, Texas on Saturday, June 10, 2017. The new warship named after Giffords who was wounded during a deadly 2011 shooting, has been put into active service following the ceremony. Giffords told a crowd at the ceremony she was honored the ship will carry her name and the vessel is “strong and tough, just like her crew.” (Stuart Villanueva /The Galveston County Daily News via AP)© The Associated Press Former Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords speaks during a commissioning ceremony for the USS Gabrielle Giffords in Galveston, Texas on Saturday, June 10, 2017. The new warship named after Giffords who was wounded during a deadly 2011 shooting, has been put into active service following the ceremony. Giffords told a crowd at the ceremony she was honored the ship will carry her name and the vessel is “strong and tough, just like her crew.” (Stuart Villanueva /The Galveston County Daily News via AP)

HOUSTON — The Navy's newest combat ship was put into active service following a commissioning ceremony Saturday, named after former Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords who was injured during a 2011 shooting.

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GALVESTON, Texas — The 421-foot USS Gabrielle Giffords will be commissioned this weekend in Texas . Free public tours of the warship while it’s in Texas are offered each afternoon Tuesday through Friday. San Diego will be the ship ’s home port.

GALVESTON, Texas (AP) — The 421-foot USS Gabrielle Giffords will be commissioned this weekend in Texas . Free public tours of the warship are available each afternoon through Friday in Galveston.

Giffords told a crowd at the ceremony in the Texas Gulf Coast city of Galveston that she was honored the 421-foot-long ship will carry her name and the vessel is "strong and tough, just like her crew."

"I thought of you in my darkest days, the soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines of the United States of America ... You make me proud. You make America proud," Giffords said as she stood next to her husband, former astronaut Mark Kelly, who was in the Navy. Kelly lived in Galveston County when he was stationed at Johnson Space Center in suburban Houston during his NASA service.

Speakers including former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, said Giffords' strength and courage made her worthy of being the namesake of the ship, the USS Gabrielle Giffords.

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GALVESTON, Texas (AP) - The 421-foot USS Gabrielle Giffords will be commissioned this weekend in Texas . Navy officials say ceremonies will be held Saturday in Galveston to commission the warship named for the former Arizona congresswoman, who was shot in 2011 in Tucson, Arizona

GALVESTON, Texas (AP) – The 421-foot USS Gabrielle Giffords will be commissioned this weekend in Texas . Free public tours of the warship are offered each afternoon Tuesday through Friday. San Diego will be the ship ’s homeport.

"Nothing gives me greater joy and honor than seeing this great ship named for someone whose strength and resilience is a great lesson to us all," Clinton said.

Others who attended the ceremony included House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, former Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden, who served as the ship's sponsor.

The Navy has said it named the ship after Giffords because of the perseverance she showed after the shooting.

Giffords was shot in the head at a meet-and-greet event outside a grocery store in Tucson, Arizona, in 2011. Six people died and Giffords was among 13 injured. The killer, Jared Loughner, was sentenced to life in prison. Giffords suffers from a language disorder and is partially paralyzed as a result of the shooting.

Giffords helped christen the $475 million ship in 2015. It's the ninth in a series of high-speed vessels designed to navigate in shallow coastal regions known as littoral waters.

It is the 13th Navy ship named after a living person since 1850 and the 16th ship named for a woman.

The ship will be based in San Diego.

"I will never forget this day or the crew of the USS Gabrielle Giffords. Fair winds and following seas," Giffords said.

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Follow Juan A. Lozano on Twitter at www.twitter.com/juanlozano70

Two Too Many .
I’ll never forget the moment when my sense of professionalism as a journalist failed me most. It was Jan. 25, 2012. I had raced to the corridor behind the back door of the House chamber to catch a glimpse of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona. A year had passed since a deranged lunatic fired a bullet into her brain and killed six others in a Tucson parking lot, and Giffords had just resigned her House seat. Before the shooting, I’d spent a fair amount of time chatting with her in the halls of Congress, and we’d attended a black-tie dinner honoring female journalists together. She was someone I liked, both for her good nature and her surprisingly ribald sense of humor.

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