A U.S. Navy is set to launch a warship named after Gabby Giffords, a former Democratic congresswoman who was almost killed in 2011 when a gunman shot her in the head and killed six people in an assassination attempt.
Giffords suffered disabling injuries from the shooting to the point where she had to step down from her seat in 2012, according to Newsweek.
On Saturday, the Navy will officially commission the 418-foot Gabrielle Giffords warship in Galveston, Texas, and Hillary Clinton and former Vice President Joe Biden will be there to see the ship set sail, according to The New York Times.
Giffords is the third living woman in American history to receive such an honor.
"That our Navy chose to give my name to this ship is an incredibly humbling honor – one I would never have imagined, one I will never forget, and one for which I always remain grateful," Giffords said, according to the Times. "When we celebrate the commissioning this weekend, I will be thinking of the thousands of hardworking Americans who built this ship and the brave men and women who will serve aboard her."
Giffords first learned that a navy warship would be named after her on the day she resigned from her Arizona seat in the House of Representatives, Newsweek noted.
It was Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus who assured Giffords of this, at the time.
Despite a lot of the support that this has garnered, some gun rights advocates have criticized the decision, citing Giffords’ strong stance in favor of stricter gun laws since the assassination attempt.
Vice Admiral Philip Cullom said Giffords deserves to be honor, Newsweek noted.
"Courage comes in many, many forms – physical, mental, spiritual and political. Gabby has truly modeled courage and resilience," Cullom said.
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