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USS New York hoping for grand New Orleans send-off

October 8th, 2009

Filed under: News — admin @ 5:51 am

By Paul Purpura, The Times-Picayune | October 07, 2009, 8:38PM

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The ship’s motto is:’Strength forged through sacrifice. Never forget.’Built with almost eight tons of steel salvaged from the World Trade Center, felled during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the $1.2 billion USS New York departs Northrop Grumman about 7 a.m., and is expected to pass near the French Quarter around 8:15 a.m.

As the USS New York winds down the Mississippi River from Avondale on Tuesday, Oct. 13, en route to its namesake city, local business leaders hope the levees are lined with well-wishers to give the ship’s crew a New Orleans farewell.

“We think that because of this ship’s special nature, it deserves a special send-off, ” said Lola Lass, president of the Greater New Orleans Executives Association, which is organizing the “Line the Levees” event.

She noted the ship’s motto: “Strength forged through sacrifice. Never forget,” and its analogous ties to the New Orleans region, whose shipbuilders, despite setbacks caused by Hurricane Katrina four years ago, invested sweat in building a vessel that honors a national tragedy.

“We want them to know we will never forget, because as New Orleanians, we know what it’s like to be forgotten, ” Lass said. “As New Orleanians, we can equate that to some of the things we lost in Katrina.”

From the Moonwalk to the Riverwalk on the east bank, and at Algiers Point and spots from Gretna to Belle Chasse on the West Bank, the association is hoping that thousands of people participate. The group will distribute about 2,000 American flags for the event.

Sailors will be posted on the Navy pier in Algiers to pay respects to the passing ship, said Capt. Brian Harrison, commander of Naval Support Activity, where the Navy was exploring whether military protocol allows a formal gun salute in light of the World Trade Center steel.

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Thousands of Northrop Grumman shipbuilders and their family members filled the pier at the Avondale shipyard last week to tour the USS New York amphibious transport dock Navy ship. A similar display will occur on the ship, where sailors will be posted on the bridge wings, said Ensign Timothy Gorman, the ship’s public affairs officer. The crew will not formally “man the rails, ” a Navy tradition in which sailors line the outer decks.

“We’ll be saying goodbye as well,” Gorman said. “The crew’s had a good time in New Orleans. They’ve enjoyed visiting the city.”

The city of New York gave Northrop Grumman steel from the World Trade Center in 2002. Amite Foundry and Machine Inc., in Tangipahoa Parish, melted the steel and cast the bow stem, the foremost part of the ship that cuts through the water. The bow stem was barged to Avondale.

At least the sixth Navy ship to carry the New York name, the 684-foot-long LPD 21, or amphibious transport dock ship, is designed to carry 800 Marines, combat gear and helicopters. Its commissioning is scheduled for Nov. 7 in New York.

After the commissioning and the crew’s participation in a Veterans Day parade on Nov. 11, the New York returns to its home port in Norfolk, Va., to begin certifications before it joins the fleet.

“We don’t anticipate being on deployment until late 2010, ” Gorman said.

The New York is the first of three amphibious transport dock ships to be named for sites associated with the Sept. 11 attacks. The Somerset, named for the Pennsylvania county where a hijacked airplane crashed, is being built in Avondale, and the Arlington, named for the Pentagon crash, will be built at Northrop Grumman’s shipyard in Pascagoula, Miss.

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Paul Purpura can be reached at ppurpura@timespicayune.com or 504.826.3791.

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PCU New York Remembers 9/11

September 12th, 2009

Filed under: New York Metro,News — admin @ 7:33 am

Story Number: NNS090911-20
Release Date: 9/11/2009 4:41:00 PM

By Mass Communciation Specialist 1st Class Corey Lewis, Pre-Commissioning Unit New York

AVONDALE, La. (NNS) — The crew of Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) New York (LPD 21) honored those who lost their lives Sept. 11, during a ceremony that included a timeline from the events of 9/11 narrated by members of the crew.

“Strength forged through sacrifice. Never Forget” is the motto of PCU New York.

Quotes from survivors, first responders and voicemail messages of victims who were able to say final goodbyes were interspersed throughout the timeline to bring the story to life.

“The events of 9/11 happened to real people on a typical workday,” said Lt. Cmdr. Laura Bender, command chaplain. “Hearing their words connects us with them in a unique and powerful way. What would we have said if we had to make that last call home?”

James Bennett, crew member of USS New York (BB-34) from 1935-1940 visited the crew and took part in the ceremony. Bennett will be 94 years old the day of the ship’s commissioning Nov. 7. He toured some of the ship with his family afterward.

“It’s a wonderful ship,” Bennett said. “I feel a strong connection to the crew. Being a member of BB-34 and watching this ship progress has been a wonderful thing, and I am waiting for this ship and crew to begin their mission.”

Ceremony participant Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Winette Cox said, “I was honored to participate in the ceremony. It was an emotional yet touching event. I think the ceremony drove home why we are working so hard to get the ship ready to do her job.”

For more news from Pre-Commissioning Unit New York (LPD 21), visit www.navy.mil/local/lpd21.

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Yankees to commemorate 9/11 anniversary

September 10th, 2009

Filed under: New York Metro,News — admin @ 3:27 pm

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By Jon Lane
Derek Jeter’s pursuit of Lou Gehrig is great, but far more important is that Friday is the eighth anniversary of 9/11. The Yankees announced that they will hold a special ceremony before the game to honor the USS New York and the ship’s crew.

Here’s the 411:

The New York Yankees today announced they will hold a special pregame ceremony on Friday, September 11, prior to the Yankees’ 7:05 p.m. game vs. the Orioles.

USS NY at Yankee Stadium

During the home plate ceremony, the Yankees will give special recognition to the USS New York and the ship’s crew as well as the commissioning committee during a home plate ceremony. The state-of-the-art stealth ship, whose bow stem includes seven-and-a-half tons of steel recovered from the fallen World Trade Center, is scheduled to be commissioned into the U.S. Navy’s fleet on November 7.  

The presentation of colors will be made by the USS New York Naval Color Guard, the FDNY Color Guard, the NYPD Color Guard and the Port Authority Color Guard. Naval musician Laura Carey will sing the national anthem.

Representing Washington, D.C. – an area also affected by the 9/11 tragedy – will be Janet Napolitano, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, who will throw out the game’s ceremonial first pitch.

Scheduled to arrive into the New York Harbor on November 2, the USS New York will proceed up the Hudson River, where she will pause and dip her ensign (the American Flag) as she passes the World Trade Center site, then proceed up to the George Washington Bridge, turn and dock at her Manhattan pier. On November 7, she will enter naval service. 

Source: http://yes.mlblogs.com/archives/2009/09/yankees_to_commemorate_911_ann.html

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The future USS New York LPD-21 under construction at Northrop Grumman Ship Systems’ shipyard in Avondale, LA, will be the fifth amphibious transport dock of the San Antonio class. The ship was named New York after the state and incorporates in its construction steel salvaged from the World Trade Centers. Her ship motto is "Never Forget." "We're very proud that the twisted steel from the WTC towers will soon be used to forge an even stronger national defense," New York Gov. George Pataki spoke in 2002. "The USS New York will soon be defending freedom and combating terrorism around the globe, while also ensuring that the world never forgets the evil attacks of Sept. 11 and the courage and strength New Yorkers showed.” This will be the seventh U.S. ship named New York.

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