GALVESTON, Texas (FOX 26) - "The USS Gabrielle Giffords is strong and tough just like her crew," says former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.
At a ceremony held at the Port of Galveston, just out of the USS Gabrielle Giffords, the ship's namesake, her husband and several United States leaders spoke about what it means to have a ship like this named after someone that means so much to so many.
"The patriotism and the heroism of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and Captain Mark Kelly embodies the highest ideals of our nation," says House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi.
"Instead of saying what might be expected and asking the question, 'Why me?,' she said how can she make the most of the life, the miracle that she represented," says former Secretary of State and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
In 2011, Arizona Congresswoman Giffords survived an assassination attempt. Since then, Navy leaders say she has shown remarkable resilience.
"It's hard to imagine someone who has exhibited more of those attributes than Gabrielle Giffords did when she went through what she went through," says Admiral Bill Moran, who received the ship on Saturday afternoon.
"You're putting a lot of pressure on me, ma'am, a lot of pressure," jokes Captain Keith Woodley, the ship's skipper.
At the ceremony, astronaut and retired naval officer Kelly and former Congresswoman Giffords thanked the crew who built the ship and who will now serve aboard it.
"On behalf of everybody assembled here today, thank you for your service and know that as long as Gabby and I live, we will be here to support and serve you," says Kelly.
"I will never forget this day or the crew of the USS Gabrielle Giffords, fair winds and following seas, thank you very much", says Congresswoman Giffords.
The USS Gabrielle Giffords is a littoral combat ship, the 10th of its kind and the 5th of the Independence variation to be commissioned.