The christening of the USS Carl M. Levin, an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, was set for Oct. 2 at the Bath Iron Works in Maine.
The christening of the USS Carl M. Levin, an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, was set for Oct. 2 at the Bath Iron Works in Maine.

Sen. Levin’s family will attend the ceremony in Maine.

The naval destroyer named for the late Sen. Carl Levin was set to be christened Oct. 2 in Maine, according to the U.S. Navy.

The USS Carl M. Levin, a 510-foot-long Arleigh Burke-class vessel, weighed 7,500 tons when it launched in May. 

Then-Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, announced the naming of the ship in 2016, saying he considered Levin to be one of the “most influential” members of the Senate.

“Destroyers are named for heroes,” Mabus said in 2016. “Carl Levin is an American hero.”

In 2016, Levin told reporters that the honor brought him to tears, the Detroit News reports.

Levin, who died July 29 at age 87, served 36 years in the U.S. Senate. For all those years, he served on the Senate Armed Services Committee, including 10 years as its chairman. 

Levin’s three daughters, Kate Levin Markel, Laura Levin and Erica Levin, were set to perform the christening. Levin’s nephew, U.S. Rep. Andy Levin, D-Bloomfield Township, told the News that one would deliver a speech Sen. Levin wrote for the occasion before his death. Andy Levin also planned to speak.

Others listed as speakers on the program included Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro; Admiral William Lescher, vice chief of Naval Operations; Maine Gov. Janet Mills; and members of Maine’s congressional delegation. Carl Levin’s wife, Barbara, and older brother, retired Rep. Sander Levin, also planned to attend. 

Before officially joining the naval fleet, the ship will have to conduct sea trials and commissioning, according to the Naval Sea Systems Command. A commissioning of officers for the destroyer is scheduled to take place in Baltimore next year or the year after, according to the Detroit News. 

A Special Seal

The motto of the USS Carl M. Levin is “Tenacious in the Fight,” which expresses “the steadfast and determined motivation of the command and crew to triumph over adversity,” according to the U.S. Navy.

“The hourglass shaped division of the field resembles the shape of the historic Senate gavel, implying Mr. Levin’s service as a United States Senator,” according to its description on the U.S. Navy’s website. “The six six-pointed stars honor Mr. Levin’s 36 years in the Senate. The seven vertical stripes over a blue field denote the USS Carl M. Levin (DDG 120) as the 70th ship in its class. The national colors of the United States are red, white and blue.”

Seal of the USS Carl M. Levin
Seal of the USS Carl M. Levin

It goes on to describe the crest on the seal: “The sword and Senate gavel allude to Mr. Levin’s service as a Senator and position of Chairman of the Armed Services Committee. The Phrygian (Liberty) cap amongst the radiant light conveys Mr. Levin’s work to protect the Great Lakes and their many lighthouses along Michigan’s coastline. The Liberty cap, adapted from the United States Senate Seal, conveys the paramount nature of America’s ethics and values, emphasized by the golden radiant light. Additionally, the eagle is featured on the coat of arms of the State of Michigan, in tribute to Mr. Levin’s home state.”

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