The U.S. Navy expanded the name of a guided missile destroyer to honor Sen. John S. McCain III (R) of Arizona at a ceremony Thursday in Japan.
The destroyer, the USS John S. McCain, already honored the senator’s grandfather Admiral John S. McCain and his father, Admiral John S. McCain Jr., the Navy said.
“Today, we add the story of Sen. John S. McCain to the spirit of the mighty vessel which already carries the legacy of his father and grandfather,” Navy Secretary (SECNAV) Richard Spencer said while addressing sailors aboard the ship. “As a warrior and a statesman who has always put country first, Sen. John McCain never asked for this honor, and he would never seek it. But we would be remiss if we did not etch his name alongside his illustrious forebears, because this country would not be the same were it not for the courageous service of all three of these great men.”
The senator, who is being treated for brain cancer, responded in a Twitter post:
The ship’s commanding officer, Cmdr. Micah Murphy, said: “After SECNAV’s remarks, the crew and guests observed colors. The flag we flew today, as well as the commissioning pennant that flew during Senator McCain’s visit in Vietnam last year, will be given to him to commemorate this historic occasion.”
McCain’s grandfather “served as a distinguished carrier task force commander of World War II,” the Navy said. His father was commander in chief of the U.S. Pacific Command. The senator was a naval aviator in the Vietnam War and was a prisoner of war for five and a half years.
USS John S. McCain is forward-deployed to Yokosuka, Japan, as part of the U.S. Seventh Fleet.