Note: This is not the USS Minneapolis/Saint Paul, which is still being built. But at least we got this name thing sorted out. Youtube
Not a lot of good government to be found these days.
In some areas, normal bureaucratic doings have ground to a halt owing to bitter partisanship, neglect, or deliberate malfeasance; in others, a powerful few go barreling brake-free through the dark, ever-toward ruin .
This in mind, let’s celebrate a small success story about a big ship.
As announced in 2015, the USS Minneapolis/St. Paul — which, unlike you, has a Wikipedia page — was christened to “honor the citizens of Minnesota’s Twin Cities who have a long and proud history of naval service.” A littoral combat ship (LCS for short, for you dry-landers out there), she’ll be 388 feet long, with a top speed in excess of 40 knots (nautical miles an hour).
According to a Defense Department press release, the USS Minneapolis/St. Paul will have the “required war fighting capabilities and operational flexibility to execute a variety of missions” — much like the people of the Twin Cities themselves. A contract for the ship’s construction was awarded to a Lockheed Martin outfit in Wisconsin, where it continues today.
But, wait! Iceberg, right ahead!–in the form of retired sailors and, eventually, the government of Minnesota’s capital city.
After hearing from “retired Naval officers,” St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman contacted U.S. Navy leadership to request the following change: The city’s official name is “Saint Paul,” not “St. Paul,” and this badass (and expensive) ship should bear the proper title.
As Coleman observed, the spelling change would be in keeping with U.S. Navy tradition, including a submarine commissioned in 1984. As noted on that sub’s Wikipedia page (every decent boat’s got one), it was the first naval vessel to bear the name of both Twin Cities, each of which had two previous ship titles to its name.
According to a spokesperson for Coleman, the Navy was “very responsive to the request and granted the change.” In a letter issued December 20, Coleman thanked U.S. Navy Secretary Richard Spencer, noting that the “retired Naval officers who live in Saint Paul… are deeply committed to maintaining traditions associated with vessels named in the city’s honor.”
Should we all be writing out Saint Paul instead of St. Paul? Your call, but you might want to think twice if the guy on the barstool next to you has a Navy tattoo on his bicep.
Below, watch this dramatically soundtracked video about these LCS ships, one of which will soon be spanning the globe in honor of the Twin Cities.