On March 1, 2008, the USS New York (LPD 21) was christened at Northrop Grumman Avondale Shipyard in New Orleans, LA. With 7.5 tons of steel from the World Trade Center in her bow, this amphibious transport dock ship carries the motto, “Strength, Forged Through Sacrifice. Never Forget.”
The ship crest includes the mountains, lake and sun rays that highlight the State of New York Seal. The seven rays represent the Statue of Liberty’s crown, symbolizing the seven seas and continents. The gray chevron and two vertical bars represent the bow of LPD 21 and the Twin Towers. The phoenix rising personifies the hope and determination of this nation to rebuild and regroup to fight terrorism.
The shield on the phoenix’s breast honors the FDNY, NYPD & PAPD. The stars commemorate the three battle stars the USS New York battleship earned in World War II. The ship will be based in Norfolk, VA and led by Commander F. Curtis Jones, a native New Yorker. Over 1,200 crew members will serve our country through humanitarian efforts and by maintaining national security. Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding took great pride in building the New York. At the christening, President Mike Petters stated, “Each ship built by the hands of our workforce holds a special place for all of us. This one, however, is truly special – not just for our shipbuilders, but for all Americans. This ship holds the memory of the heroes who died on September 11, 2001.”
Four ship builders visited the Tribute Center in January 2008. Rochelle Gaines said on her visit, “I work around steel every day and to see it twisted up as it was is unbelievable that something like that could happen.” Mr. Petters also spoke of what a privilege the shipbuilders felt. “Shipbuilding is hard work under extreme conditions. It’s about being part of something greater than our individual selves. It’s about personal pride in workmanship and service to one’s country. It‘s personal. It’s personal for me and it’s personal to each man and woman who laid his or her hands on this ship to build her in honor of those heroes of that day in our country’s history.”
On September 9, 2004, then-Secretary of the Navy Gordon England named the eighth and ninth ships of the San Antonio class of ships the USS Arlington (LPD 24) and the USS Somerset (LPD 25). “The future USS Arlington and USS Somerset will join USS New York as living tributes to those who suffered in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and to the nation.”
The USS Arlington will be commissioned in 2011. The USS Somerset will honor the courageous crew and passengers of Flight 93 who stormed the cockpit. England stated, “Their actions prevented the airplane from reaching its destination and inflicting further casualties. Their heroic sacrifice rallied and inspired the nation.” The USS Somerset will be commissioned in 2012.
In the fall of 2009, the USS New York will be commissioned in New York City where the ship will officially become part of the US Navy’s fleet. The Association is compiling a small book of letters for the crew from family members about your loved ones and the meaning of this living memorial. Letters may include thoughts to the crew about how much their service on the USS New York means to you as a family member, survivor, recovery worker, volunteer or Lower Manhattan resident. If you would like to send a letter to be bound in the book for the crew, please send it to our offices at 22 Cortlandt Street #801, NY, NY 10007 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “Letters to the USS New York.” We encourage all ages to write, keeping in mind this book will accompany the ship on deployments for long periods of time.
Due to military and safety regulations gifts for the ship are not being accepted. The USS New York
Foundation will support in perpetuity morale, welfare, emergency and recreation programs for the crew not funded by the Navy.
For more information visit: www.ss.northropgrumman.com.