Former Rep. Gabby Giffords is coming to the Pentagon today as Navy Secretary Ray Mabus announces the name of the Navy’s newest ship. Her visit has set off speculation that the Navy might name the ship after her.
Also in attendance at this afternoon’s brief ceremony in the Pentagon Courtyard will be Roxana Green, the mother of 9-year-old Christina-Taylor Green. Green was among those killed in last year’s deadly shooting rampage in Tucson that targeted Giffords as she met constituents outside a supermarket.
Navy spokespersons are not commenting on whether their presence at today’s event is tied to the ship’s name and they are not providing any clues about what the ship’s name might be.
Also on hand for the event will be former Rep. Ike Skelton who along with Mabus will ”reveal” a placard that will have the name of ship on it. Skelton is a former chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.
Giffords is still recovering from the gunshot wounds to her head that she suffered during last January’s shooting incident. Just two weeks ago she stepped down from Congress. She will be at the White House this morning as President Obama signs into law the last piece of legislation that she had proposed as a member of Congress.
The ship being named today will be the Navy’s 10th Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), a new type of ship designed to bring the Navy fighting power into shallow coastal areas. The first two ships in this class were called Freedom and Independence, but since then the conventional practice has been to name the other ships in the class after a city.
But everyone is being tight-lipped about what name will be given to this newest LCS ship.
The Navy has named ships after living persons with some recent examples being the aircraft carrier USS George HW Bush and the submarine USS Jimmy Carter.