PHILADELPHIA — 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 at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia during a ceremony to place the ship into active service.

Murtha, a Democrat, served as a U.S. Marines Corps Reserve officer and later as a member of the Pennsylvania House. He was the first Vietnam War veteran elected to Congress and became the longest-serving congressman in Pennsylvania history shortly before his death in 2010.

The two-time Purple Heart recipient earned a number of other accolades for his service, including the Navy Distinguished Service Medal.

Ships like the USS John P. Murtha support military and humanitarian missions.