Of course, I didn’t know Harvey Milk personally, but I know of him quite a great deal. And I think he’d be kind of stunned, honored and giddy with this news …
Ray Mabus, Secretary of the Navy, has announced that the Navy is set to name a ship after the gay rights icon and hero, and San Francisco politician, Harvey Milk. The ship, a Military Sealift Command fleet oiler will be called the USNS Harvey Milk, a
Other names in the class include former Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren whose court ruled to desegregate U.S. schools, former Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, women’s right activist Lucy Stone and abolitionist and women’s rights activist Sojourner Truth; and in the past, Mabus has named ships for other civil rights icons, including the Lewis and Clark-class dry cargo ships Medgar Evers and all in good company alongside Harvey Milk.
Harvey Milk came from a Navy family and joined the service in 1951. He served as a diving officer during the Korean War on the submarine rescue ship Kittiwake until 1955. He was honorably discharged from the service as a lieutenant junior grade.
After serving his country, Harvey Milk moved to San Francisco where he was elected to the San Francisco board of supervisors and was the first openly gay California politician to be elected to office. He was killed in office in 1978.
Since the 2011 repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell there has been a concerted effort from California politicians to name a ship after Milk. Harvey’s nephew, Stuart Milk says that naming a ship after his uncle “will further send a green light to all the brave men and women who serve our nation that honesty, acceptance and authenticity are held up among the highest ideals of our military.”
I just think Harvey would be grinning like mad hearing this news.
His march goes on …