*(Via Latin Post) – The U.S. Navy announced Wednesday that it will name a ship after Democratic Rep. John Lewis of Georgia to honor his legacy as a civil rights hero and tireless fighter for freedom in America.
Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus said in a press release that naming a United States Navy replenishment oiler after Lewis “is a fitting tribute to a man who has, from his youth, been at the forefront of progressive social and human rights movements in the U.S., directly shaping both the past and future of our nation,” according to NBC News.
The vessel, on which construction will begin in 2018, will be “the first ship of the next generation of fleet replenishment oilers,” he said. Oilers are ships responsible for providing fuel replenishment along with fleet cargo and store to ships at sea.
“As the first of its class, the future USNS John Lewis will play a vital role in the mission of our Navy and Marine Corps while also forging a new path in fleet replenishment,” Mabus said.
In an interview with NBCBLK, Lewis said he cried when first learned that a ship would be named after him. He added that Mabus paid a visit to his office a few months ago to tell him about the idea in person.
“He said, ‘I have been so moved and inspired by your work and others during the civil rights movement. My idea is to name a ship in your honor,'” Lewis said.
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