As a former sailor in the U.S. Navy, I am excited to see an addition to our fleet of warships. However, I also am disappointed in the government’s decision to name this vessel after a former member of Congress (“’Strong and Tough,’” The Daily News, June 11). The naming of ships have had some predictability behind them: aircraft carriers were named for big battles and former presidents, battleships after states and littoral combat ships after U.S. cities. The USS Gabrielle Giffords is a littoral combat ship.
My disagreement with the naming will be criticized by those who believe it to be a criticism of Rep. Giffords, but they are dead wrong.
It is a criticism of those in Washington who congratulate themselves and their fellow insiders with pay raises, exemptions from laws that affect the rest of us and now the naming of proud naval vessels.
Rep. Giffords certainly did show strength and resilience in her recovery from a devastating gunshot wound. But if those are the criteria, then there is a long list of servicewomen and servicemen maimed or killed in the line of duty whose names should come before hers. Does anyone remember Audie Murphy, the most-decorated serviceman in World War II?
Consider a few local names: Fletcher Harris lost a hand by picking up a German hand grenade and throwing it; Ross Novelli marched across Europe and received the Silver Star for heroism; Danny Cleary lost a leg and had his elbow shattered in Europe. These servicemen are heroes.
I am by no means slamming Ms. Giffords, just the departure from a non-political tradition to be replaced by a political one. Wrong is wrong and this one is wrong.