The Defense Department is naming a combat ship after former congresswoman and gun-control advocate Gabrille Giffords this weekend.
Giffords was shot in the head at a constituent meet and greet during her third term. She resigned from Congress in 2012 to focus on her recovery, and started a gun-control PAC called Americans for Responsible Solutions in 2013. She and her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, have also advocated for gun-control measures in congressional testimony.
The Navy’s tenth littoral combat ship will be christened USS Gabrielle Giffords on Saturday in Mobile, Ala.
“The christening of the future USS Gabrielle Giffords marks the beginning of what is certain to be a long life for this great ship,” said Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus in a statement. “It is also a celebration of the skill and dedication of the men and women who have built LCS 10 and the courage of her namesake. This ship truly embodies the Navy motto of Semper Fortis – Always Courageous.”
Giffords has not served in the military. Her husband is a retired Navy captain.
Jill Biden will be the one smashing a bottle of champagne across the bow during the ceremony.
Designed to operate in shallow coastal waters at speeds that can exceed 40 knots, the LCS is armed with 57mm and .50 caliber guns as well as Hellfire missiles.
Other LCS are named Freedom, Fort Worth, Independence, and Coronado. LCS under construction or in the pre-production stages have all been named after U.S. cities.