On Saturday, the U.S. Navy commissioned the USS Michael Monsoor, a Zumwalt-class destroyer and the most technologically advanced ship in our nation’s fleet. The sublime vessel offers a fitting tribute to its namesake, the late Navy SEAL who gave his life to protect teammates and Iraqi soldiers during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2006.
The ship’s crest depicts a sword held in the winged hand and arm of St. Michael the Archangel, patron of warriors, after whom the devoutly Catholic Michael Monsoor was named. The ship’s motto reads, “I will defend.”
Monsoor answered the call of duty with an act of heroism that would earn him the Medal of Honor. On September 29, as Monsoor watched for enemy activity with his teammates on a roof in Ramadi, an insurgent hurled a hand grenade from an unseen location. The grenade hit Monsoor in the chest and bounced to the ground. While Monsoor easily could have escaped the blast from his position next to the single exit, his teammates would have been trapped. So Monsoor threw himself on the grenade, absorbing the explosion and saving the lives of his friends. The 25-year-old warrior died half an hour later, having received last rites, on the Feast of St. Michael.
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