USS Gabrielle Giffords interest overwhelms Navy, potential tourists turned away

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Public interest in the USS Gabrielle Giffords is so high that the Navy had to turn away some of those waiting for a tour on Friday.

The U.S. Navy underestimated the public's interest in its newest war ship. Hundreds waited in line for as long as three hours to take a public tour of the USS Gabrielle Giffords, which is in Galveston this weekend for its commissioning ceremony on Saturday.

Public tours were extended by an hour due to the demand, but were stopped at 4 p.m. with dozens still in line waiting the board.

Upset tourists claimed the process lacked communication and was disorganized.

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Celebrities and political heavyweights showed up for a pre-commission party to honor Gabrielle Giffords.



"Let me in," said George Sandoval, who told Eyewitness News he'd been waiting for close to three hours to see the independent variant littoral combat ship. "I'm not going to get in. I want in."

There are tours scheduled for Saturday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. after the ship-side ceremony, and the Navy said there are discussions about extending the public visitation time because of the high demand.

The ship is the 16th to be named for a woman and the 13th named for a living person since 1850. It is 419 feet in length and was built in Mobile, Alabama. Its home port will be San Diego.

VIDEO: Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., waits to tour the USS Gabrielle Giffords
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Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., waits to tour the USS Gabrielle Giffords.

Stay with ABC13.com on Saturday for a live stream of the commissioning ceremony at noon.

If you'd like to witness the commissioning ceremony yourself, it will begin at noon on Saturday, June 10, at Pier 21 of the Port of Galveston.

Report a typo to the ABC13 staff


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