On May 28, 2011 in a ceremony on board the USS New York, the September 11th Families’ Association adopted the ship to support the education, morale and welfare of the crew.
The Association has been involved with USS New York since she was christened in March 2008. During the commissioning in New York City in 2009, the Association welcomed crew members and their families to the Tribute WTC Visitor Center to share the personal stories of 9/11.
Association President Lee Ielpi said, “We are honored to continue our relationship with the USS New York by formally adopting the ship to ensure that all crew members understand the significance of the 7.5 tons of World Trade Center steel in the bow stem.” Last year in honor of September 11th as a National Day of Service and Remembrance, the Association hosted family members, survivors, and first responders who assembled care packages for each sailor on the USS New York. Jennifer Adams, CEO of the Association noted after the ceremony, “The average age of sailors on board the ship is 20 years old. In 2001, they were 10 years old. It is our mission as the September 11th community to help them understand the significance and personal history of 9/11. They will be the representatives of America on missions around the world.”
During the ceremony, the ship’s Chaplain Laura Bender stated, “We belong to New York in a way no other ship and crew belong, for we are a living memorial; we are a tribute in honor and memory; we are a symbol of the strength and resolve of our nation to stand against evil in whatever form it presents itself. No matter what mission lies ahead for USS New York, the covenant we will make with the 9/11 families, survivors, and recovery workers will be our strength.”