Pennsylvania

Navy commissioning to honor ship's Pennsylvania namesake

  • The USS John P. Murtha stands along the along the skyline of Philadelphia, on the Delaware River  Friday, Oct. 7, 2016.  The U.S. Navy is commissioning the USS John P. Murtha, a new ship named in honor of the late longtime Pennsylvania congressman and decorated Marine Corps veteran. Thousands are expected to honor Murtha on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016 at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia during a ceremony to place the ship into active service.  (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

    The USS John P. Murtha stands along the along the skyline of Philadelphia, on the Delaware River Friday, Oct. 7, 2016. The U.S. Navy is commissioning the USS John P. Murtha, a new ship named in honor of the late longtime Pennsylvania congressman and decorated Marine Corps veteran. Thousands are expected to honor Murtha on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016 at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia during a ceremony to place the ship into active service. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2008 file photo, U. S. Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., smiles as he addresses supporters after his reelection at his headquarters in Johnstown, Pa. The U.S. Navy is commissioning the USS John P. Murtha, a new ship named in honor of the late longtime Pennsylvania congressman and decorated Marine Corps veteran. Thousands are expected to honor Murtha on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016 at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia during a ceremony to place the ship into active service. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)

    FILE - In this Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2008 file photo, U. S. Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., smiles as he addresses supporters after his reelection at his headquarters in Johnstown, Pa. The U.S. Navy is commissioning the USS John P. Murtha, a new ship named in honor of the late longtime Pennsylvania congressman and decorated Marine Corps veteran. Thousands are expected to honor Murtha on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016 at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia during a ceremony to place the ship into active service. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • The USS John P. Murtha stands along the along the skyline of Philadelphia, on the Delaware River  Friday, Oct. 7, 2016.  The U.S. Navy is commissioning the USS John P. Murtha, a new ship named in honor of the late longtime Pennsylvania congressman and decorated Marine Corps veteran. Thousands are expected to honor Murtha on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016 at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia during a ceremony to place the ship into active service.  (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

    The USS John P. Murtha stands along the along the skyline of Philadelphia, on the Delaware River Friday, Oct. 7, 2016. The U.S. Navy is commissioning the USS John P. Murtha, a new ship named in honor of the late longtime Pennsylvania congressman and decorated Marine Corps veteran. Thousands are expected to honor Murtha on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016 at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia during a ceremony to place the ship into active service. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)  (The Associated Press)

A new U.S. Navy ship will join active service in honor of its namesake, Pennsylvania's late longest-serving congressman John Murtha.

The USS John P. Murtha will be commissioned Saturday during a two-hour ceremony at Penn's Landing. Similar ships are used to transport and land Marines during military and humanitarian missions.

Murtha, a Democrat, was known as the de facto voice of veterans on Capitol Hill before his death in 2010.

The decorated former Marine was the first Vietnam War veteran elected to Congress and brought money and projects to depressed areas in his western Pennsylvania home district. He previously served in the Pennsylvania House.

Murtha retired as a colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve and received a number of accolades during his service, including two Purple Heart medals.