I really like former U.S. Representative Gabrielle Gifford. Her miraculous survival and heroic recovery from the Tucson mayhem of January 2011 has inspired me, along with millions of other people who hate random violence, mayhem, killing and hate.
The Obama administration announced today:
In yet another break with tradition, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus announced Friday that a new Littoral Combat Ship would be named for Gabrielle Giffords, the Arizona congresswoman who survived a January 2011 assassination attempt.I find it creepy to name buildings after living people, unless the people the buildings are named after own them.
“The selection of Gabrielle Giffords, designated LCS 10, honors the former Congresswoman from Tucson, Arizona, who is known for supporting the military and veterans, advocating for renewable energy and championing border security,” the Navy said in a statement accompanying the announcement.
Roxanna Green, whose 9-year-old daughter Christina-Taylor Green was killed in the shooting, was named sponsor of the ship.
“Giffords and the ship’s sponsor, Roxanna Green, are sources of great inspiration and represent the Navy and Marine Corps qualities of overcoming, adapting and coming out victorious despite great challenges," Mabus said.
Giffords, a three-term representative, resigned from Congress on Jan. 25 to continue recovering from her wounds.
Although LCSs recently have been named for cities, Mabus passed up the opportunity to name a ship for Phoenix, Arizona’s largest city, named for the mythical bird that rose from its own ashes to fly again.
The previous Phoenix, a Los Angeles-class nuclear submarine, was decommissioned in 1998.
The Tucson, a submarine named for the largest city in Giffords’ district, is in service with the Pacific Fleet.
The Navy is building 55 LCS ships. The original naming scheme for the type was for patriotic-sounding place or regional names. But after the first two ships were named Freedom and Independence, the scheme was changed to small or mid-sized cities, and the last two LCS names announced were for Montgomery and Little Rock.
Mabus, who as Navy secretary has the authority to name its ships, has garnered criticism for some of his choices. In particular, some conservatives took umbrage when the decision was announced in May 2011 to name a dry cargo and ammunition ship after Latino civil rights and labor activist Cesar Chavez.
A decision in April 2010 to name a landing transport dock ship after deceased Rep. John Murtha, an outspoken critic of the war in Iraq and the Bush administration, continues to rankle conservatives. LPDs previously had been named for small or medium-sized cities or geographic place names.
Last October, Mabus added another wrinkle to the already jumbled scheme for naming new joint high speed vessels when he changed the name of the second JHSV from its Army name of Vigilant to Choctaw County, his home county in Mississippi. The Navy had not used county names for its ships since the 1950s and 1960s.
The future Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10) will be an Independence LCS 2-class ship. Funded in the 2012 budget, its construction contract is expected to be awarded in the first half of this year to Austal USA in Mobile, Ala.
Naming naval vessels after living people strikes me as strange too.
But to name a ship of a new class whose primary function will be to kill swarthy Arabs, Persians, Africans, Latin Americans in semi-secret or covert missions, to support our worldwide corporate interests after such a vibrant, positive, inspirational woman is just plain fucking sick and cynical.
The people whooping it up over this are even sicker. If it were up to me, and I had to choose something to name after Rep. Gifford now, it would be a trauma center, a neurosurgery research center or an institute for disarmament.
Here's some LCS porn for the O-bots to get excited over: