Home > Life, You've GOT to be kidding! > Here She Is: The USS New York

Here She Is: The USS New York

kidding3I like to think that I’m fairly well informed, at least enough to have an intelligent discussion with someone should one happen to come up. But I had no idea about this. Did you?

 

 

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“It [The USS New York] was built with 24 tons of scrap steel from the World Trade Center. It is the fifth in a new class of warship — designed for missions that includeamd_wtc-rubble special operations against terrorists. It will carry a crew of 360 sailors and 700 combat-ready Marines to be delivered ashore by helicopters and assault craft.

Steel from the World Trade Center was melted down in a foundry in Amite, LA to cast the ship’s bow section.  When it was poured into the molds on Sept 9, 2003, ‘those big rough steelworkers treated it with total reverence,’ recalled Navy Capt. Kevin Wensing, who was there. ‘It was a spiritual moment for everybody there.’

Junior Chavers, foundry operations manager, said that when the trade center steel first arrived, he touched it with his hand and the ‘hair on my neck stood up.’ It had a big meaning to it for all of us,’ he said. ‘They knocked us down. They can’t keep us down. We’re going to be back.’ “

(from an email that is circulating on the Internet)

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I’m not sure what to think about this. At first I had chills, thinking about the horrifying spectacle that was the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. But then it hit me in the stomach. 

Why did we turn this ACT of aggression into a SYMBOL of aggression? 

Some days I am so confused about what America represents. For many Americans, this “monument” will by a triumph. But for others, it is a sign that we still haven’t learned the larger lesson from that horrible incident and its resulting war: we are not an aggressor nation. 

Why wasn’t the emphasis placed on building a ship of good will? Why are we still fighting fire with fire in our hearts? 

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I will never forget 9/11 or the people whose lives were so directly affected by it, but I don’t think I can glorify this object of revenge.

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  1. Tom
    March 17, 2009 at 1:14 am

    I absolutely love what you wrote. Someone recently asked me to join a “don’t forget” group – and the person who invited me isn’t a whacko patriot, but I didn’t join – this kind of “revenge memory” only leads to a deeper darkness – the spilling of more blood, and once that cycle begins, it’s nearly impossible to end.

    How does one remember constructively? How does one remember with the power of forgiveness? I’m not a fool, and I realize that “real politik” is upon us, but how does power restrain itself, and how does a powerful nation use its power wisely?

    How much better to have used the 24 tons of steel to build bridges, hospitals, schools, water systems for the 3rd world.

  2. March 17, 2009 at 1:47 am

    My feelings exactly, Tom. And your last paragraph can be applied to so many mis-spendings in our country lately.

    What has happened to the soul of America??

  3. May 11, 2009 at 4:16 pm

    Tom
    You assume that this is revenge, it is not, it is remembering, touchstones to the past. It has long been a military tradition to name future vessels or installations after battles, those who have died in battle and important public figures. In these instances there usually is an effort to add important memoribilia or information to the facility or ship. Many towns and cities are named after Euopean places, many ships are named after revolutionary battles and so on. If you have bought a car in the last few years it possibly has World Trade Center steel in it. Millions of tons of steel were recovered, and bridges and schools and hospitals were made as well. The interior of PCU New York has spaces named after the noteable areas of New York State as a celebration of our great heritage. True, this is a ship of the United States Navy and it will be called upon by the President to go to foreign lands and do his bidding, such is in the job description but I have faith in our President and our country and I know that the right choices will be made.
    Scott

  4. May 11, 2009 at 5:15 pm

    Thanks for the updated information, Scott. It’s good to know that there have been other uses for the incredible amount of steel that made up the World Trade Center. Maybe we just don’t hear enough about those instances to balance the idea of using the materials for retaliatory purposes.

  5. Larry Naeyaert
    November 17, 2009 at 7:22 pm

    Please don’t think of our military vessels and technology as “Symbols of Aggression”. They are the methods and means by which we maintain peace. Yes, that have the ability to destroy, but their real value is in their abilities as a deterrent to war or as a means to prevent destruction.

    The world will always have maniacs that want to usurp that which is not theirs. A strong US Military is a boon to the rest of the world that cannot adequately defend themselves.

    I take pride in having been a military officer. I hope we can all begin to see the value in a strong military in making the world a better place for all. The USS New York is a symbol of the great spirit of America, our determination to never forget those that died in the horrific attacks of 9/11 and the tenacity to ensure that such an attack never happens again.

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