USS NEW YORK (LPD-21)
Shortly after 9/11, George E Pataki, Governor of New York, wrote a letter to the Secretary of the Navy, Gordon R England requesting that they bestow the name “New York” on a surface warship involved in the War on Terrorism in honor of the victims of the September 11th attacks.
Northrop Grumman Ship Systems of New Orleans Louisiana was awarded the contract to build the “New York” (USS New York LPD-21) in 2003.
7.5 short tons (6.8 t) of the steel used in the ship’s construction came from the rubble of the World Trade Center; this represents less than one thousandth of the total weight of the ship. The steel was melted down at Amite Foundry and Machine in Amite, Louisiana, to cast the ship’s bow section. (In metalworking, casting involves pouring liquid metal into a mold which contains a hollow cavity of the desired shape, and then allowing it to cool and solidify). It was poured into the molds on September 9, 2003, with 7 short tons (6.4 t) cast to form the ship’s “stem bar”—part of the ship’s bow. The shipyard workers reportedly treated it with “reverence usually accorded to religious relics,” gently touching it as they walked by. When Hurricane Katrina hit in August 2005, 1,200 shipyard workers opted to keep on working and one worker delayed his retirement after 40 years of working to be part of the project.
The USS New York LPD-21 was christened at Northrop Grumman’s Avondale, Louisiana Shipyard on March 1, 2008.
- Seven rays of sunlight signify the crown atop the Statue of Liberty and the seven seas.
- Central focus placed on the Twin Towers and the bow of the ship, forged from TwinTowers steel.
- Breastplate of the phoenix bears the colors of first responders from the New York Police Department, New York Fire Department, and Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
- Blood drops represent the fallen.
- Three stars for those earned by the battleship USS NEW YORK (BB34) in World War II at Iwo Jima, Okinawa and North Africa.