Out of thousands of ships commissioned by the U.S. Navy, this is only the 16th named after a woman — and the first named after a living woman since Martha Washington.
"Ladies and gentlemen, the honorable Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Navy veteran Mark Kelly ," as the couple was introduced on Saturday in the Texas Gulf Coast city of Galveston, Texas.
"I thought of you in my darkest days, the soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines, of the United States of America," Giffords said. "We ask so much of you. Despite the danger, you say, ‘Yes!’" The crew of the USS Gabrielle Giffords stands at the ready prior to the commissioning ceremony on Sat., June 10, 2017, in Galveston, Texas. The U.S. Navy commissioned the warship named for former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ.), a gun violence survivor, making it the third Navy ship ever to be named after a living woman. The Navy told former Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords a warship would be named in her honor back in 2012 .
The same day she decided to resign from Congress to recover from an assassination attempt in 2011.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton praised the decision to name the ship after Giffords.
"She came out of that experience with grace and faith that is almost hard to imagine," Clinton said. "Nothing gives me greater joy and honor than seeing this great ship named for someone whose strength and resilience is a great blessing to us all." Retired Navy Captain Mark Kelly and his wife Gabrielle Giffords share the podium during the commissioning of the USS Gabrielle Giffords on Sat., June 10, 2017, in Galveston, Texas. More than 420 feet long, the USS Gabrielle Giffords is designed to take on threats such as mines and submarines in the open ocean and close to shore.
"This wonderful lady is an inspiration to every single one of us in uniform and every single one of us who lives in this assassination attempt in 2011 great country," Admiral William Moran said.
The Navy’s newest warship reportedly cost $475 million and is armed with missiles and machine guns.
It will soon head to its home port in San Diego for final tests and training. Gabrielle Giffords accompanied by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L) and her husband, Mark Kelly on Sat., June 10, 2017 in Galveston, Texas.