A new warship named after former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who was wounded during a deadly 2011 shooting, has been put into active service following a commissioning ceremony in Texas.
Giffords was joined by her husband, retired NASA Astronaut and Naval Officer Mark Kelly, at today's commissioning ceremony in Galveston, Texas.
"This is an incredible honor, said Kelly. “The U.S.S. Gabrielle Giffords 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. We ask so much of you despite danger you say yes. You make me proud, you make America proud."
"The soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines of the United States of America -- we ask so much of you. Despite danger, you say yes. You make me proud, you make America proud. I will never forget this day or the crew of the U.S.S. Gabrielle Giffords."
“The characteristics that she exemplifies -- like strength, toughness, and resilience are after all the same attributes that you'd seek in a warship. Like Gabby, this ship will face down some lethal threats. But it will persevere through that adversity, and it will leave our lesser adversaries in her great, giant wake."
The USS Gabrielle Giffords weighs over three thousand tons. It is 421-feet long, with two gas turbine and two diesel engines.
It's designed to operate in environments close to shore and eliminate coastal threats, like submarines and small craft.
"On behalf of the Secretary of the Navy and for the President of the United States I hereby place the U.S.S Gabrielle Giffords in commission. May God bless and guide the warship in all who sail - who shall sail in her."
The USS Gabrielle Giffords will be based in San Diego.