FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – The official anchor dedication ceremony for the USS Fort Worth was held today at Veterans Memorial Park.
U.S. Rep. Kay Granger (R-Fort Worth District 12) sponsored the ship and was on hand for the dedication. The congresswoman explained why having the anchor in the city is significant.
“It doesn’t matter where the ship is at sea, the anchor will always be here in Fort Worth,” she said. “ This anchor will be really a long bond with the chip and her crew.”
After an outpouring from leaders and residents, construction on the USS Fort Worth began in 2009, but the responsibilities don’t end with an anchor or dedication ceremony.
“When you have a ship named after you it’s just a very special thing,” Granger explained. “ When The Secretary of the Navy said we are considering this, we had to prove to the Secretary of the Navy that we would honor the ship and take care of the ship and her crew.”
Along with Granger and U.S. navy officials, Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price and Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley also attended the dedication.
Mayor Price said, “This ceremony today is a testimony to the hard work of many who love Fort Worth, and love the Navy and our military, and believed we needed a ship.”
Judge Whitley emphasized the long history of Texas and the U.S. military.
“The USS Fort Worth comes from a proud Navy tradition involving the Lone Star State. The Navy’s first battleship, commissioned in 1895, was called the USS Texas.”
The USS Fort Worth is the first ship named after the city. It’s an honor Navy veteran Jim Besser does not take lightly. “This ship is going to carry the name Fort worth for many, many years and it’s going to be all around the world and it’s going to make a lot of sailors happy,” he said.
The USS Fort Worth is a part of the navy’s Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program. LCS ships are relatively small and high-speed and are intended to operate primarily in coastal areas. The Fort Worth is the third LCS delivered to the Navy.
While the USS Fort Worth will be based in San Diego, responsibilities for the vessel will be in North Texas.
“I’m in charge of making sure that this city takes care of the crew and the ship for the lifetime of the ship,” Granger explained. “Now that’s gonna be 40 years so I won’t be here for the lifetime, so I gotta get a bunch of young people to take over when I’m not here.”
The 387-foot USS Fort Worth will be commissioned next month in Galveston.
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