March 2, 2008
Navy christens ship with WTC steel in bow
LPD 21, the Navy's newest amphibious tranport dock ship was christened "New York" March 1, at the Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding New Orleans Shipyard at Avondale, La.
With seven-and-a-half tons of steel recovered from New York City's World Trade Center forged into its bow stem and hundreds of New York City first responders in attendance for the ceremony, the ship's motto "Strength forged through sacrifice. Never Forget," was heard loud and clear.
Speakers at the christening, included Gordon England, Deputy Secretary of Defense.
On Sept. 7, 2002, while serving as Secretary of the Navy, England formally announced that LPD 21 would be named New York.
Speakers invoked the ship's motto, "Never Forget," throughout the ceremony.
"This is a special ship," said England. "Ships' names are messages and while we know fellow citizens will not forget Sept. 11 and New York City, we'll be sure to bring this message when we bring the fight to the enemy."
England's wife, Dotty, served as the ship's sponsor and broke a champagne bottle across the bow, honoring the city and state of New York while proclaiming, "I christen thee New York. May God bless this ship and all who sail on her."
While a small crew had already been assigned to New York's ship's company, the bulk of the crew is scheduled to report for duty in the fall. The ship is scheduled to be commissioned in September 2009 and will be homeported in Norfolk, Va.