Captain James Kirk Sends a Letter to…Captain James Kirk?

zumwalt 2

Last week the US Navy christened its newest warship, the USS Zumwalt. This 610 foot long ship is the world’s largest and most technologically advanced Navy Destroyer, featuring an array of sophisticated weaponry and equipment that set the government back a cool $7 billion, and the Captain is one James Kirk. No, Not that Captain Kirk, this is Captain James A. Kirk, but his call sign is “Tiberius”…

Captain James A. Kirk
Captain James A. Kirk

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus called the USS Zumwalt a “Modern Marvel” at Saturday’s christening ceremony. The ship has been under construction since 2009, and was named after Admiral Elmo “Bud” Zumwalt. He was the youngest chief of naval operations, who in 1970 promoted the first female and African-American officers to Admiral. He was also a trailblazer who opened the door for scores of women to become naval aviators and serve on warships.

The USS Zumwalt
The USS Zumwalt

General Zumwalt’s daughter Ann had this to say about her historic father on the day of his namesake’s christening:

“He strove for a Navy that was supportive, encouraging and compassionate toward all sailors, especially minorities and women,” his daughter Ann said, AP reported. “A Navy  that not only fought wars but also fought discrimination in its ranks. He dreamt of a Navy that allowed its sailors a better quality of life.” 

Ann Zumwalt and Mouzetta Zumwalt-Weathers, Daughters of the late Admiral, Christen the USS Zumwalt
Ann Zumwalt and Mouzetta Zumwalt-Weathers, Daughters of the late Admiral, Christen the USS Zumwalt

Captain Kirk, during the ceremony, had more to say in memory of the good Admiral:

“Zumwalt put in place programs that made the fleet ‘more relevant to its time’.  He’s the guy who said, ‘We need to change and shrink the fleet to get rid of some obsolescent ships and other aircraft we had, and put in place plans to build the next fleet that would be up to the challenges of the future,’ He put the Navy on the course to a more just institution.  In my mind, he’s a towering figure in the history of our Navy, one who I think, increasingly, history will recognize as a great mind and intellect.” 

Why you might ask, would we go into such detail about Admiral Zumwalt?  He changed the course of the navy, helping to ensure that women and minorities had equal treatment and equal opportunities.   You can’t get much more,”Trekkie,” than that!

William Shatner, TV’s Captain James Tiberius Kirk was invited to the christening, but had to politely decline due to his incredibly hectic schedule. Mr. Shatner sent an amazing letter to his real-life counterpart wishing him all the best:

The letter that Mr. Shatner wrote to Captain James A. Kirk, Captain of the USS Zumwalt.
The letter that Mr. Shatner wrote to Captain James A. Kirk, Captain of the USS Zumwalt.

“Unfortunately I can’t be with you when your vessel is commissioned and obviously you’re attending, my schedule won’t allow me, but know that you are in our thoughts — Mr. & Mrs. Shatner — and that we bless you and hope that you have a safe journey wherever your ship takes you. Our best, William and Elizabeth Shatner”

 Word Of The Nerd certainly echoes that statement-God Speed Captain Kirk and Crew!  Boldly Go!

About the author

Tim Piland

Timothy Piland is a classically trained tenor and opera singer. He was born and raised in the Springfield, Mo. Area.

He has performed Roles for Springfield Little Theater, Vandivort Theater, Springfield Regional Opera and Mobile Opera. He has also worked for the Puccini Festival, and the Kansas City Lyric Opera.

In his performing career he has performed roles in: Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Man of La Mancha, Die Fledermouse, La Fanciulla del West, Gianni Schicchi and many other shows.

In 2007, he toured the United Kingdom with the Church of the Incarnation out of Dallas, Texas. This included a week long engagement at Westminster Abbey, as well as a 9 day engagement at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Edinburgh, Scotland.

In 2009 he originated the role of the Priest in "Frankenstein, Monster" by Le Wlhelm at the Gilloiz Theater.

He appeared onstage as Rupert Giles for, "A Class Act productions," in their ongoing presentation of Buffy The Vampire Slayer: A Reader’s Theatre Parody, from March 2010-July 2013.

In November 2011, he made his directoral debut, directing "Star Trek Live Onstage: The Trouble with Tribbles," also for "A Class Act." He went on to direct 14 of the next 17 episodes of that live stage show.

Each Christmas you can also catch him at the historic Pythian Castle where he performs in a, "Night of the Dueling Santas," a Christmas dinner show of his own writing. He has been the Ghost Tour Guide for the castle since 2010.

He has been featured on The Discovery Channel, SYFY Channel, The History Channel, NPR.

He is the founder of Harvest Moon Productions and oversees events ranging from concerts to straight plays. He is currently writing a book called "Ghostly Tales From Pythian Castle," which hopefully will see production at some point in 2014.

In 2013 he was cast as Dr. Howard Lagrasse in the 5 episode silent Horror web series SHADOW BOUND, for Arcane Productions. Most recently he was cast in a role in the feature film EVERYTHING, for Parallax Studio.

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