Sec of Navy & NYC Native Unveils Plans to Name New Ship Alex Hamilton

Secretary of the Navy Carlos del Toro, a Hell’s Kitchen native, returned home for Fleet Week. The following is a condensed version of an address he delivered at a breakfast tossed by Mayor Eric Adams at Gracie Mansion on May 23 to celebrate Fleet Week.

| 23 May 2024 | 03:54

Good morning, New York City. All right. The first thing is that I don’t think I will ever again agree to speak after the mayor of New York City. Goodness gracious...

I will add one other very special thanks to you, Mr. Mayor. As someone who actually was in active duty here on 9/11, that very same day was the last day of our commissioning committee preparations for the ship that I was going to commission on Veterans Day of 2001. I spent the next three days down at Battery Park at the Coast Guard headquarters, leading reservists here in this great city, calling them back to duty to do what we could do, obviously, in the midst and shadow of that great tragedy.

I was proud later on that same year on December 8th to bring back the USS Buckeley, our Navy’s then newest destroyer, and commission her in the shadows of the Twin Towers.

I also want to take a brief moment to, because we’re very excited to actually have three members from the Broadway cast of Hamilton here with us today...We have Jared Dixon, who plays Aaron Burr. Very nice. We have Jenny Harney-Fleming, who plays Angelica Schuyler. We also have Mr. Tamar Greene, who plays George Washington himself...

New York City is indeed a Navy town, but also much more, both as a global financial capital of the world and the heart of our nation’s economy, not to mention my own hometown.

Every time I visit my hometown of New York City, I am reminded of why I chose to dedicate my own life to serving our great nation over the last 40 years, both in and out of uniform. The opportunity to succeed, to realize your dreams, to be part of something bigger than yourself.

To our uniformed personnel here today, from Admiral [Daryl] Caudle and Lieutenant General [Brian] Cavanaugh, all the way down to our most junior enlisted sailor, Marine, and Coast Guard men and women, thank you. Thank you for volunteering your time, your careers, your lives, and service to our great nation. Thank you to all of your families. I also extend a warm thank you to our German allies as well, too, for their service and that of their families as well.

By doing so, you are all part of a legacy that stretches back almost 250 years to our war for independence from Great Britain. Those sailors, Marines, and soldiers of the Continental Navy and Army fought battles both ashore and at sea, including right here in New York...

Since we are here in New York City, I would be remiss if I did not mention Alexander Hamilton, a Caribbean immigrant and one of our nation’s better-known founding fathers. Alexander Hamilton, like Lafayette, served on General Washington’s personal staff during the Revolutionary War, ultimately commanding troops during the Battle of Yorktown. After the war, he established the United States Treasury Department and, with it, the forerunner to our nation’s oldest seagoing service, the United States Coast Guard.

However, what many individuals don’t know is that Secretary Hamilton was a fierce advocate for our nation to establish a navy. As those newly independent colonists contemplated what institutions their government needed, Hamilton wrote to the people of the state of New York in Federalist Paper No. 11 with a necessity to create a navy.

To quote Hamilton, the man, not the Broadway musical, and I quote, “There can be no doubt that the continuance of the Union under an efficient government would put it in our power at a period not very distant to create a navy,” unquote...

Secretary Hamilton understood that we as a maritime nation needed to establish ourselves from the outset as a maritime power, both commercial and naval, and so today, here in Hamilton’s home city and state, we are proud to announce that we will be naming our Navy’s future Constellation Class Frigate, FFG-66, the USS Hamilton, in honor of his contributions and advocacy for our nation’s maritime services.

USS Hamilton, once constructed, will sail around the world representing the freedom and ideals its namesake spent in his entire life advocating for, and we are excited to sail alongside the U.S. Coast Guard’s Cutter Hamilton, one of our nation’s national security cutters, as our sea services work together alongside our international allies and partners to confront the common challenges we face throughout the maritime domain.

Alexander Hamilton lived a life dedicated to something greater than himself, ideals he was willing to sacrifice his life for on the fields of battle across our nation. Let his life work in commitment to democratic principles invigorate those of us here this morning as a poignant reminder that we carry on his legacy for service and sacrifice.

So today, here in [Alexander] Hamilton’s home city and state, we are proud to announce that we will be naming our Navy’s future Constellation Class Frigate, FFG-66, the USS Hamilton, in honor of his contributions and advocacy for our nation’s maritime services.” Sec. of the Navy Carlos del Toro, at Gracie Mansion/Fleet Week breakfast.