On May 19, the Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Carlos Del Toro announced that they would be naming a future Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer after Fireman 2nd Class Telesforo De La Cruz Trinidad, the only Filipino in US Navy history to be awarded the Medal of Honor. By doing so, the US Navy honors the courage and bravery of Telesforo Trinidad and 11,000+ Filipinos currently serving in the US Navy.

Del Toro said in a statement that he first learned about Trinidad’s story when he was a midshipman at the Naval Academy and that he wanted to honor the Filipino ever since he was sworn in as secretary.

“This ship and her future crew will be a critical piece in strengthening our maritime superiority while also emphasizing the rich culture and history of our naval heritage,” he said through a SECNAV statement.

The timing of the honor could not be more perfect. Del Toro announced this development During Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month. This celebration honors the contribution of Asians and Pacific Islanders to American history and culture as the US has been widely known to be a melting pot of people of different ethnicities and nationalities, something that has made the US the country it is today.