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The newest Arleigh Burke-class Aegis guided missile destroyer (one of the most powerful warships in the world), DDG-84 USS Bulkeley, was commissioned near Ground Zero in New York City to pay homage to those who died in the WTC attack. This 9,300-ton ship is crewed by 380 sailors and its commander is a Cuban-American, Commander Carlos del Toro, born in Havana (La Habana).
This is great honor for Cdr. del Toro, but it is also a great honor for the entire exiled Cuban community, as it demonstrates - once again! - the positive achievements of our community in this great country.
Keep in mind that the honor of being the first captain of a newly commissioned warship (especially ships of the line such as the Arleigh Burke class DDG) is one that the Navy bestows only on its best and up-and-coming line officers. Therefore, we wish Cdr. del Toro a great and long lasting military career. We also want Cdr. del Toro to know how proud we are of him as an individual and, just as proudly, point to him as an example of Cubans' contributions to American society.
By the way, Cdr. del Toro is not the only Cuban-American Navy officer commanding his own ship. There are many others, such as Commander Octavio Manduley, commanding the missile frigate, USS Sides.
So, godspeed to Cdrs. del Toro and Manduley!