The Navy newest Littoral Combat Ship will be named the USS Gabrielle Giffords in honor of the former Arizona Congresswoman who survived an assassination attempt one year ago. The USS Gabrielle Giffords will be the 17th ship to be named for a woman and the 13th to be named after a living person, according to the Defense Department. The ship’s “sponsor” will be Roxanna Green, the mother of Christina-Taylor Green, the 9-year-old girl who was killed in the Tucson shooting that wounded Giffords in January 2011. The Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus, described Giffords and Roxanna Green as “sources of great inspiration” who “represent the Navy and Marine Corps qualities of overcoming, adapting and coming out victoriously despite great challenges.”
Gabrielle Giffords is married to Captain Mark Kelly, a retired NASA astronaut and a graduate of the Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, NY. Mark Kelly’s twin brother, Scott, is also a NASA astronaut and is a graduate of the State University of New York Maritime College at Fort Schuyler. The Kelly brothers are the first twins to fly for NASA, and no doubt, the first astronaut brothers to have both graduated from merchant marine academies.