NEW YORK – The USS New York, built with steel from the rubble of the World Trade Center, was put into Navy service Saturday both as a symbol of healing and strength.
“No matter how many times you attack us, we always come back,” Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus said at the amphibious assault ship’s commissioning. “America always comes back. That’s what this ship represents.”
He spoke on a Manhattan pier where hundreds of Navy officers and sailors joined first responders and families of Sept. 11 victims.
“I hereby place the USS New York in commission,” Mabus announced.
And with a long drum roll, the ship’s crew was set on the first watch, obeying the order, as traditionally worded: “Man our ship and bring her to life!”
The 7 1/2 tons of steel debris from ground zero had been melted down to form the bow of the USS New York as “a symbol of our unshakable resolve; this is a city built of steel,” said Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.