PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Several thousand people crowded Penn’s Landing Saturday morning for the commissioning of the USS Murtha, an amphibious transport dock ship of the United States Navy.
The ceremony honored the late John Murtha, Pennsylvania’s longest serving congressman.
Murtha was a senior congressman from Johnstown when a young Patrick Murphy was elected to congress from Bucks County. Murphy, who is now undersecretary of the Navy, praised Murtha for his rich experience on many fronts.
“When Jack Murtha ran for U.S. Congress his mission statement was ‘an honest man can make a difference’ And Jack Murtha made a difference for 37 years in the Marine Corps, in Korea, and Vietnam,” Murphy said. “And Jack Murtha made a difference for 19 terms in the U.S. Congress.”
Murtha passed in 2010, but this ship will honor him for years to come.
The ship is 684 feet long and 105 feet wide. It also incorporates a flight deck to accommodate helicopters and Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft and a deck to launch landing craft and amphibious vehicles.