Saturday, March 01, 2008

USS New York

Every now and then something pops up to remind us of September 11, 2001. Today the USS New York, a naval assault ship, was was christened. This ship is not your ordinary navy ship. This ship was built from 7.5 tons of steel from The World Trade Center. The slogan "Never Forget" is painted on it's bow along with two gray bars representing the twin towers. It seems so fitting that they used the steel from the towers in this ship because this ship's main purpose is to help fight terrorism. It's ironic that from a building that terrorist help knock down a ship rises from the rubble to stop the very people that lead this horrible act.

The billion-dollar, 25,000-ton vessel is 684 feet long, 105 feet wide. It is the fifth in a new class of warship, designed for missions that include special operations against terrorists. It can carry a crew of about 360 sailors and 700 combat-ready Marines to be delivered ashore by helicopters and assault craft.

USS New York's prospective commanding officer is Cmdr. F. Curtis Jones, a native New Yorker. It is to be commissioned, essentially added to the fleet, next year. It could be used as part of peaceful missions or as part of war, said Adm. Gary Roughead, the Navy's chief of operations.

That it could be used in war did not bother Lee Ielpi, president of the September 11th Families' Association, whose son, Jonathan, a firefighter, died in the attacks. The ship won't be used for war "unless you bother us," he said in an interview.

"We're sending a message that we're standing strong," he said, adding: "This ship, as it cuts through the water, is going to send a ripple. That ripple will say, 'We cherish our freedom.'"

Also from the twisted steel of the World Trade Center are steel beams that are the foundation of the Freedom Towers that's begun to rise in the spot the WTC once stood. The use of the steel seems settling in many ways. It shows us that we will not soon forget the victims and heroes of that day.


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