March 1, 2012  

Naming miscue

TO NAVY SECRETARY RAY MABUS for ignoring policy and tradition by naming a U.S. warship for former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz. The Navy’s one-time taboo against naming ships for living people, generally a bulwark against the appearance of rewarding political allies, has taken a beating in recent years, most notably with the aircraft carrier George H.W. Bush. But Mabus was also determined to ignore the naming convention for littoral combat ships, which until now had been named after mid-sized American cities. The ship instead could have been named Tucson, in honor of the city she served through five years in Congress. It takes nothing away from the congresswoman’s brave effort to recover from a deranged gunman’s attack to note that there are thousands of combat veterans who are struggling to heal similar wounds.