Those of us old enough to remember the attacks on September 11, 2001, remember where we were when we first heard the news about the attack in New York City, in Washington, D.C., and in the farm field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. It is one of those things that happen in history that affect the nation and the world. It is tattooed into our memories. Like the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor for the Greatest Generation, 9/11 is something that you never forget.
This video is about the USS New York (LPD-21), a San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock. It is the 5th ship of the United States Navy to be so named. This latest iteration was commissioned on November 7, 2009, in New York City. She is designed to operate close to shore and to deliver U.S. Marines and their equipment and supplies to whatever missions they are called upon to carry out. She has the capability of landing Marines with amphibious craft as well as a helicopter deck to transport Marines and or supplies to the battlefield.
This USS New York has a very special connection to the events of 9/11, too, in that the entire bow of this ship is made of steel that came from the fallen Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. The Twin Towers are symbolically reborn, like a pheonix from the fires of that day, in the bow of the USS New York. Everywhere that ship goes, she carries something more than the New York name, even something more than the Marines and their equipment she can deliver to anywhere they are needed in the world; she carries the power of memory, the reality of that steel, and the determination to never forget.
There are also two pieces of the Twin Towers displayed on board the USS New York. One is a piece of raw steel that has been etched with words to remember the 9/11 attack on the city. The other is a small piece of twisted metal that was recovered in the ruins.
There are also many crew members on the USS New York who are from either New York City or the State of New York, many of whom carry memories of that day. Two are interviewed in this video: Lt. Ryan Ross, who joined the navy immediately after 9/11, and Mass Comms Specialist Lyle Wilke, who was a junior in high school that day. You will hear their pride in serving on this ship.
A young ensign explains the ship’s crest and its motto as well. The crest shield bears a stylized image of the Twin Towers behind a depiction of a phoenix bird rising out of the flames. There are three stars, representing the New York Police Department, the New York Fire Department, and the New York/New Jersey Port Authority Police, who sacrificed their lives that day. It has two blood spots to represent the loss of life.
The words “Never Forget” are emblazoned beneath the shield. These words are part of the ship’s motto: Strength Forged Through Sacrifice. Never Forget. With the steel of the Twin Towers forged into the bow of the USS New York (LPD-21) cutting through the waves wherever she goes, there will be no forgetting.
The Veterans Site wishes the crew of the USS New York, (LPD-21) Fair Winds and Following Seas.Whizzco