GALVESTON, Tex. (NBC) – Former Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords is the first living woman since Martha Washington to be the namesake of a naval warship.
Giffords was shot in Tucson in 2011.
She survived the assassination attempt, but it left her disabled and she resigned from her seat in Congress.
Former second lady Dr. Jill Biden, a military mom, is the ship’s sponsor.
Biden, Hillary Clinton, and Nancy Pelosi were among those who attended the commissioning in Galveston, Texas.
“Just as the motto ‘I am ready’ represents the ship, it represents Gabby Giffords,” said Hillary Clinton during her speech during the ceremony.
“Instead of saying what might be expected and asking the question ‘why me’? She said how can she make the most out of the life, the miracle that she represented,” added Clinton.
The Navy said it named the ship after Giffords because of the perseverance she showed after the shooting.
“I’m so happy to be here with you today,” announced Gabrielle Giffords as she took to the podium. “This is an incredible honor. The U.S>S> Gabrielle Giffords is strong and tough, just like her crew. 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.”
“I will never forget this day, or the crew of the U.S.S. Gabrielle Giffords,” she added. “Fair winds and following seas! Thank you very much!”
The U.S.S. Gabrielle Giffords will be based in San Diego.