The crews of amphibious transport dock ships USS New York (LPD 21) and USS Arlington (LPD 24) commemorated events of Sept. 11, 2001 at a memorial ceremony aboard New York this morning.
“Some of us are probably thinking ‘wow’, it has been twelve years since those tragic events,'” said Capt. Jon Kreitz, New York commanding officer. “No matter your age at the time, 9/11 was a day that changed each of us and our lives forever.”
Both New York and Arlington were built in honor of the men and women killed in those attacks. New York has seven and a half tons of World Trade Center steel in her bow and displays the motto “Strength Forged Through Sacrifice, Never Forget.” Arlington pays tribute to the city of Arlington, Va., home to the Pentagon. The pentagon shaped shield on the ship’s crest has a border the color of limestone buff except the southwest section of the wall, which is red, highlighting the section that was destroyed on Sept. 11.
“This was the last morning our country was in ‘Force Protection Normal,'” said Chief (select) Boatswain’s Mate Tricia Pearson.
“My naval career, life and country would never be the same,” she continued. “I was scared and worried as to what was going to happen next. The many heroes that made the ultimate sacrifice that day, are one of the reasons I put my uniform on with pride every day, to keep our country safe.”
The ceremony was organized by chief selectees from New York, Arlington and Assault Craft Unit 4 and was attended by crewmembers, civilian guests and retired Army veterans.
“I have an amazing crew aboard Arlington and it’s heart warming to hear some of the stories from the Sailors about that day and how it affected them,” said Cmdr. David Nelson, Arlington commanding officer.
Press Release, September 12, 2013; Image: Navy