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

The USS John P. Murtha was commissioned Saturday in a ceremony at Penn's Landing that drew thousands, including Democratic U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. It is one of the most technologically advanced warships of today and used to transport and land U.S. Marines.

Murtha, a Democrat, was known as the de facto voice of veterans on Capitol Hill before his death in 2010. He was the first Vietnam War veteran elected to Congress and previously served in the Pennsylvania House.

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