On Saturday, the Navy christened its newest – and most technologically advanced – ship ever seen: the USS Zumwalt. This large $7 billion guided missile destroyer is completely electric and is manned by Captain James Kirk himself.
No, not that one.
James A. Kirk was commissioned into the U.S. Naval Academy in 1990 and has since served on destroyers and cruisers and, mostly recently, is serving as Executive Assistant to the Director of Service Warfare.
No doubt he has heard his share of Star Trek jokes, but the best of all had to be when Captain Kirk himself, actor William Shatner, sent a letter and autographed picture to the crew of the USS Zumwalt last week prior to the ship’s christening.
“Unfortunately I can’t be with you when your vessel is commissioned and obviously your captain, Captain Kirk, is dear to my heart,” Shatner wrote. “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.”
Barbara Zumwalt, niece of the late Elmo Zumwalt, for which the ship got its name, posted a photo of Shatner’s gifts on Twitter.
— Barbara Zumwalt (@bzedits) April 12, 2014
Initial operating capability of the USS Zumwalt should be reached by 2016.
The letter and autographed photo from Shatner are displayed at Bath Iron Works in Maine.
In a recent interview, Shatner was quoted as saying, “The thing you have to remember is that life is for the living. You only have this minute, this little particle that goes kachung! – and then is gone. You have such a short time to live and you’ve got to help other people, be kind and just love.”
The crew of the USS Zumwalt indeed felt that kindness lately from the original Captain James Kirk.
Image via Wikimedia Commons