REMEMBER 9/11: The USS New York

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We will never forget the lives lost on 9/11. Our way of memorializing and mourning the 3,000 men and women who lost their lives in the World Trade Center, United Airlines Flight 93, and American Airlines Flight 77 has taken many different forms. One tribute can be found patrolling the oceans, after the United States Navy gave parts of the wreckage new life.

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After a suggestion from the State of New York, steel from the towers was to be melted down and forged into the bow of the warship the USS New York. This 24,900 ton ship was officially commissioned in 2009. Two other ships, the USS Somerset and the USS Arlington joined the USS New York as tributes to the September 11 attacks. The Somerset and Arlington represent Flight 93 that crashed in Somerset County, Pennsylvania and Flight 77, which collided with the Pentagon in Washington, DC. In our country’s mourning, we found the strength to band together and to overcome.

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With nearly 250 million tons of debris littering Ground Zero, the challenge for the City of New York was clearing the grounds. Much of the steel from the towers was saved. After being loaded onto trucks and traveling some 1,300 miles, it was forged into the landing platform dock dubbed the USS New York. The ship got its name after New York Governor George Pataki requested that the warship be exempt from the rule that only submarines could bear the names of states. The request was granted.

Forging the Warship

In 2003, 7.5 tons of steel was brought down to Louisiana to be melted down. The molten steel was then poured into a mold, creating the bow of the ship. Despite delays from the devastating Hurricane Katrina, many shipyard workers chose to keep working on the ship, handling the steel and construction with what some described as reverence. The USS New York’s perfect motto serves as a final tribute: “Strength forged through sacrifice. Never forget.”

Forging

“Strength forged through sacrifice. Never forget.”

The Crest

The Crest of the USS New York is another symbol paying tribute to the first responders and the men and women lost on 9/11. The central focus of the crest is on the Twin Towers and on the hull of the USS New York that was forged from the tower’s steel. With wings outstretched as it rises from the ashes is a triumph phoenix, whose breast bears the colors of the New York Police Department, New York Fire Department, and Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Upon the phoenix’s chest are two drops of blood to represent the lives lost. Above the shield, the landscape portrays the rolling hills of the state of New York, with seven rays of sunlight to signify the Statue of Liberty’s crown and the seas upon which the USS New York will now sail.

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Being built Beyond Rugged can mean a lot of things. It can stand for how hard you work, or how you persevere through adversity. We celebrate those who lost their lives, and those who continue to work hard to protect the land of the free. The USS New York represents more than just the 9/11 attacks, it represents American courage and unity.