Earlier this week, Untapped Cities had the honor of embarking on the USS New York, the lead ship for the Parade of Ships during Fleet Week 2019, for an overnight stay. We flew in an Osprey helicopter from Manhattan and boarded somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean off the New Jersey coast. We were given a tour of the ship, bunked in an officer’s stateroom, shared meals with the captain and other officers, and witnessed many moving and inspirational events on this ship, which is dedicated to the victims of 9/11. This ship is the living representation of those people [who lost their lives on 9/11],” Command Master Chief, Ben Hodges of the USS New York told us on a tour of the ship, “It’s great to have the opportunity to bring the ship back to New York City.” True to its name, the USS New York is full of New York City references, which you will discover in this article.
Yesterday morning, the USS New York pulled into Pier 88, next to the Intrepid Air & Space Museum on the Hudson River yesterday morning, following an 11-canon salute from Fort Hamilton in honor of 9/11. You can take a ship tour of the USS New York for Fleet Week, and in anticipation, here are ten of the most fun facts we learned on our stay on the ship!
1. There are 7.5 Metric Tons of Steel from the World Trade Center in the USS New York
The USS New York (LPD 21), commissioned in 2009, is one of three ships dedicated to the victims of 9/11, along with the Arlington and the Somerset. She joins a long line of ships with the same name, dating back to the American Revolution. In a fitting tribute, the bow stem of the USS New York is made of 7 1/2 metric tons of steel recovered from from the World Trade Center. CMDMC Ben Hodges tells us that the Navy has refused to retouch or add new steel to the bow stem. If you look closely on a visit, you will see the rough edge on the stern. “It’s tower steel,” CMDMC Hodges says, and because it is situated at the “very leading edge of the ship, it literally parts the waters wherever we go.”
The ship’s sponsor, Mrs. Dotty England, whose husband Gordon England is the former 72nd and 73rd Secretary of the Navy and current Deputy Secretary of Defense, was part of the ceremonial pouring of the salvaged steel from the World Trade Center. She stated, “It is a humbling and profound honor to represent the victims, families and the heroes of 9-11, the people of New York and all Americans. This nation will never forget what happened that day… and will forever cherish the sacrifices of all those preserve our freedoms and liberties.”