The U.S Navy announced Wednesday (January 6) that it would name a ship after Civil Rights activist, Democratic Georgia representative and Dr. Martin Luther King’s right-hand man, John Lewis.
Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said in a press release the vessel will be “the first ship of the next generation of fleet replenishment oilers.”
“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. “Naming this ship after John 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.”
Lewis, 75, was instrumental in the march in Selma, Ala.,across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in 1965, which later become known as “Bloody Sunday.” And at just 23 year old, Lewis was also a keynote speaker during the March on Washington.
Construction on the ship is slated to begin in 2018