A group of six San Diego activists head to Treasure Island in San Francisco for Milk ship dedication.
Last month it was announced by the Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus, that a replenishment oiler (T-AO 206) would be named in honor LGBT activist Harvey Milk.
This confirmation came from local activist and historian Nicole Murray-Ramirez (pictured above with Stuart Milk) who started a massive letter writing campaign in 2011 through the International Court Council to get the Navy to name a ship after Harvey Milk, who served in the Navy as a Dive Officer.
Today, The Harvey Milk Foundation announced that a ship naming ceremony by Secretary Mabus will be held at San Francisco’s Treasure Island on Tuesday, August 16.
Murray-Ramirez was invited to attend this dedication and was approved to have a San Diego delegation join him and represent the city in which the historic ship will be built.
The delegates who will be joining Murray-Ramirez for this historic event are:
Commissioner Robert H. Gleason with the San Diego Airport Authority.
Commissioner Bruce Abrams current Chair of the Foriegn Affairs Commission.
Bob Lehman: past President of American Veterans for Equality in San Diego.
Ben Dillingham III: San Diego County Veterans Advisory Council.
Councilmember Todd Gloria
Murray-Ramirez was asked to speak at the reception for the dedication.
In addition Murray-Ramirez is also the Chairman of the San Diego Harvey Milk Ship Celebration Community Task Force.
That organization, if it's decided that the USNS Harvey Milk will be christened and launched in San Diego, will organize a multi-day celebration to honor the event.
“We’re looking forward to the ship being built here and the dedication,” Murray-Ramirez told SDGLN. “We’re looking at three days of celebration, with a dance at the pier, inviting the Village People, brunches, dinners and a lot of celebration.”
Murray-Ramirez continues to say that Mayor Kevin Faulconer is also excited that San Diego will be the birthplace of the USNS Harvey Milk.
“We have so much to be proud of in San Diego,” Murray-Ramirez said. “We got the park bench in his [Milk's] honor, the street – first in the nation, The Harvey Milk Breakfast is the biggest Milk hotel event in the country. I launched the stamp campaign here and also the ship campaign here.”
Stuart Milk, Harvey Milk's nephew, said his uncle knew individual actions would change LGBT lives everywhere and that his belief in the power of visibilty, "gave him the courage to face those bullets that he both anticipated, and would ultimately take his life. As a proud Navy veteran, Uncle Harvey was committed to public service, aided by courage, persistence, and the belief that our shared journey is enriched, and not weakened, by our diversity.”
There is no official date as to when the ship will be completed and christened, but Murray Ramerez hopes it will be in 2018 or 2019.
"This is gonna be great for our city, and our community. Already there's talk all over - people wanting to come to the dedication and I will be working closely with the Harvey Milk Foundation to have a great celebration and I am appreciative of the outreach of the mayor and the business community. This is going to be so great!"
For now though, Murray-Ramirez and his delgates will head to the Golden Gate to witness Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus name the first Navy vessel after one of the greatest LGBT leaders in history; Harvey Milk.
The historic ship naming ceremony in honor of Harvey Milk by the US Secretary of the Navy will be held on Tuesday, August 16, on The Great Lawn, at Treasure Island in San Francisco.