By all lights, former Arizona Congressman Gabrielle Giffords was a good politician, with no intent towards the customary faint praise that might attach to that description. She was a Fulbright scholar, had a successful business career before turning to politics, and was elected to both chambers of Arizona’s state house prior to going national, where she was three times elected to serve the people of southeast Arizona. While in Congress, she served on the House Armed Services Committee, and its subcommittees on readiness, tactical air and land forces, as well as on the House Science, Space and Technology committee, where she was ranking member on the subcommittee on space and aeronautics. Her husband flew A-6 Intruders in combat during Desert Storm, and is now an astronaut at NASA.
She had the great misfortune of being shot and nearly killed by a lunatic in January 2011. Her process towards recovery is undoubtedly heroic.
And for all that, she will have a US Navy warship named after her:
Gabrielle Giffords, the former Arizona congresswoman who survived an assassination attempt one year ago, is getting a Navy vessel named in her honor.
The Navy said Friday that its newest Littoral Combat Ship, a small, agile surface vessel, will be known as the USS Gabrielle Giffords. 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.
In a statement, 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.”
These ships are meant to have 50 year life cycles. Some twenty or thirty years from now, a sailor will walk aboard and ask how the ship came to be named. He will be told that it was named by a nice lady who happened to get shot.
I have only this to say about that: The Army should start naming tanks, and the Air Force tankers.
Take some of the load off, please.