US Navy commissions USS Gabrielle Giffords
© Greg Nash

The U.S. Navy commissioned on Saturday a new warship named for Gabrielle Giffords, the former Arizona congresswoman who was severely injured in a 2011 shooting.

In a commissioning ceremony in Galveston, Texas, a roster of high-profile politicians, including Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGOP warns Graham letter to Pelosi on impeachment could 'backfire' Hillary Clinton praises former administration officials who testified before House as 'gutsy women' Third-quarter fundraising sets Sanders, Warren, Buttigieg apart MORE and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), offered high praise for Giffords, saying that the ship's resilience would mirror that of the former representative.

"Let us never forget it is that spirit and our values that keep us going year after year, and that's why it is so fitting that this new, dynamic, extraordinary ship be named – named for the former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords," Clinton said.


Giffords took the stage alongside her husband, former astronaut Mark Kelly, who was in the Navy himself. The former Arizona representative told the ship's crew that she thought of service members when she was recovering from her injuries. 

"This is an incredible honor. The U.S.S. Gabrielle Giffords is strong and tough, just like her crew," Giffords said at the ceremony. "I thought of you in my darkest days – the soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines of the United States of America."

"We ask so much of you. Despite danger, you say yes. You make me proud, you make America proud," she added.

The U.S.S. Gabrielle Giffords is an independence-class littoral combat ship first launched in 2015. It will be based in San Diego.