The U.S. Navy’s new $3 billion, 610-foot-long warship, the USS Zumwalt, was christened on Saturday, but not before its captain, James Kirk, received a letter of well wishes from the most famous James Kirk of all — “Star Trek” actor William Shatner.
“Unfortunately I can’t be with you when your vessel is commissioned and obviously your captain, Captain Kirk, is dear to my heart,” Mr. Shatner wrote, Business Insider reported. “So forgive me for not attending, my schedule won’t allow me, but know that you are in our thoughts — Mr. & Mrs. Shatner — and that we bless you and hope that you have a safe journey wherever your ship takes you.”
The letter, along with a picture of the “Star Trek” captain, went on display at Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine. A photo of the letter was also tweeted by Barbara Zumwalt.
The USS Zumwalt, which Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus called a “modern marvel” on Saturday, had been under construction since 2009, The Associated Press reported. It was named after Bud Zumwalt, who who became the youngest chief of naval operations in 1970 and promoted the first female and black officers to admirals. He also paved the way for women to become naval aviators and serve on warships, AP reported.
“He strove for a Navy that was supportive, encouraging and compassionate toward all sailors, especially minorities and women,” his daughter Ann said, AP reported. “A Navy that not only fought wars but also fought discrimination in its ranks. He dreamt of a Navy that allowed its sailors a better quality of life.”