Navy asked to christen the USS Chattanooga

Members of Congress from Tennessee and Georgia have asked the Navy to name a ship the USS Chattanooga in honor of five servicemen killed in a terrorist attack in the East Tennessee city last summer, reports the News Sentinel.

In a letter to Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, the lawmakers said Friday that naming an “appropriate naval vessel” after the city in which the servicemen were killed would be a way to honor their sacrifice.

“In the wake of this tragedy, we believe that it is appropriate for the U.S. Navy to honor the legacy of those who lost their lives,” the lawmakers wrote.

The letter was signed by U.S. Sens. Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander, both Tennessee Republicans; U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, R-Ooltewah; and U.S. Rep. Tom Graves, R-Ga.

A lone gunman opened fire last July on a military recruiting station and the Navy and Marine Corps Operational Support Center in Chattanooga.

Killed in the attacks were Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Sullivan, Staff Sgt. David Wyatt, Sgt. Carson Holmquist, Lance Cpl. Squire “Skip” Wells and Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Randall Smith.

The shooter, Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez, was killed in a gunfight with police.

All five of the servicemen were awarded the Purple Heart last December because the attacker was found to be inspired by propaganda from a foreign terrorist organization.

Note: Resolutions have been filed in the General Assembly urging the secretary of the Navy to name a ship Chattanooga, but the legislative website indicates no action on them (HJR526, SJR556.)