Naval Ship Dedicated to Cesar Chavez

Nearly a year and a half in the making, the USNS Cesar Chavez is ready to set sail

By Diana Guevara
|  Sunday, May 6, 2012  |  Updated 10:08 AM PDT
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Paul Chavez, the son of Cesar Chavez, talks about why he is happy to see a Naval ship named after his father. Diana Guevara reports.

Paul Chavez, the son of Cesar Chavez, talks about why he is happy to see a Naval ship named after his father. Diana Guevara reports.

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Nearly a year and a half in the making, the USNS Cesar Chavez is ready to set sail.

The Navy ship being dedicated and named after the late civil rights leader, which will be given it's official send off this weekend in southern California.

Following naval tradition, the family of the late civil rights leader arrived in San Diego on Friday for their very first tour of the ship. All 80 members of Chavez’s family came aboard the ship, including all six of his children and the labor leader’s widow.

Paul Chavez, Cesar’s son, said he is in awe of the ship.

“I didn't really anticipate how big it was going to be,” he said. “But…it's breathtaking.”

NASSCO began constructing the ship back in October 2010 and at number 14, it's the last of the Lewis & Clark Cargo ships built in the heart of Barrio Logan.
 
The nearly 700 foot vessel's primary mission will be to deliver more than 10-thousand tons of food, ammunition, fuel and other goods to combat ships at sea.

The ship not only commemorates the life and legacy of the migrant leader, but it's also the first Navy ship to be named after a Mexican-American.

“It's real emotional because you know this year is 19 years since my father passed away,” said Paul. “But I think it's heartwarming to know that his work continues on a daily basis but also the commemorations continue."

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