US Navy ship built of 9/11 wreckage sets sail for NY
2009-10-14 0:00


A warship built with steel salvaged from the wreckage of the World Trade Centre set sail for New York on Tuesday.

Hundreds of people lined the banks of the Mississippi river near New Orleans as the USS New York sailed through the fog, local media reports.

Its bow stem contains 7.5 tons of steel salvaged from the rubble following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

"That steel means a whole lot more than just metal," Ronnie Harris, mayor of nearby Gretna, Louisiana told the local Fox News station amid a swell of patriot music.

"The entire country comes together in the form of that bow stem and I'm so proud that this event puts it in the history books and in people's minds."

The 208-metre long ship's main mission is to transport and deploy combat and support elements of Marine expeditionary units, the US Navy said.

It will carry approximately 720 troops and can deploy helicopters and other aircraft from its massive deck.

Two other ships - the Arlington and Somerset - are being built in honour of the victims of the attacks on the Pentagon and United Flight 93 and are also incorporating materials salvaged from those sites.

Article from:

Spectators wave American flags through the fog
By Rick Jervis |

Spectators wave American flags through the fog as the USS New York sails down the Mississippi River through the Port of New Orleans on Tuesday. The $1.2 billion Navy ship was built with 7.5 tons of steel salvaged from the wreckage of the 9/11 attacks is on its way to New York its home port. By Sean Gardner for USA TODAY

Peering through thick fog, hundreds stood on the banks of the Mississippi River early Tuesday and cheered as the latest piece of naval history cut through the haze and belched its horn.
The onlookers waved flags at the New York, a freshly built 684-foot Navy Amphibious Transport Dock ship slowly making its way to New York City, where it will be commissioned and renamed the USS New York.

The $1.2 billion ship is named in commemoration of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on Manhattan. Its bow stem was built with 7 tons of scrap metal excavated from the World Trade Center ruins. The New York was built by Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding in Avondale, La., 10 miles upriver from New Orleans.

The ship and New Orleans share a bond: Both are reminders of the two deadliest American tragedies of this decade the terrorist attacks in 2001 and the drowning of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. About 2,700 people died in the New York attacks; New Orleans lost about 1,200 residents in the floods.

Nesbit Parker, a New Orleans government worker, took time off from her job to cheer the passing ship.

"In our hearts, we can relate to what they've been through," Parker said, waving a small American flag. "Our cities will be linked for a long time through these tragedies."

The New York is the first of three Navy ships to be named for places associated with the Sept. 11 attacks, said Ed Winter, a Northrop Grumman spokesman. Under construction are the Somerset, named for the Pennsylvania county where one of the four jets hijacked by terrorists crashed, and the Arlington, named after the site of the attack on the Pentagon in Virginia.

After 9/11, the Port Authority of New York offered to donate salvaged steel from the World Trade Center ruins for construction of a ship, Winter said. George Pataki, governor of New York at the time, requested to have the ship named New York.

The steel was transported to Amite, La., where it was melted and molded into the bow stem, then trucked to Avondale, Winter said. Construction began in 2004 but was interrupted in August 2005 when Katrina ravaged the area, displacing many of the ship's workers and stalling construction for several months.

Workers lived in temporary trailers on the shipyard to finish the work and drove home on weekends to their flood-wrecked neighborhoods.

Tracey Mackey, 38, a welder, lost his Lower 9th Ward home in the floods, but he kept coming to work.

"It was like working on a piece of history," he said. "It was a sad way to have something in common, but it was a neat way to give something back."

The New York set sail from Avondale early Tuesday shrouded in unseasonably thick fog.

Families, couples, business leaders and a high school marching band crowded on the river's levees to glimpse the ship through the soupy haze. A bagpiper, Terry Cooney, played the Marines' Hymn and Scotland the Brave.

Geri Cavaretta of Madisonville, La., listens to the National Anthem before watching the USS New York sail down the Mississippi River in New Orleans. Photo: Patrick Semansky, AP

Tears welled in Loretta Corbett's eyes as she waved a 5-foot-tall American flag on the banks of the river. Originally from Ridgewood, N.J., Corbett moved to New Orleans a few months before Katrina. The New York attacks killed 27 Ridgewood residents, she said.

"It's ghostly," Corbett said as the ship plied downriver through the haze. "It feels like all those lives are following that ship out to sea."

Article from:

Evidence Destruction at Ground Zero
By Jim Hoffman |

"Ground zero" is a technical term dating back to the 1940s describing the point on the earth's surface at, above, or below the center of a nuclear detonation. "Ground Zero" became a proper noun on September 11, 2001, to describe the devastated remains of the World Trade Center complex. The designation was fitting since Lower Manhattan did indeed look as if it had been hit by a nuclear blast.

Ground Zero was the site of one of the largest evidence destruction operations in history. It was the scene of the mass murder of nearly 3000 people. Believing the official myth that Osama bin Laden's cells of hijackers piloted the 767s into the Twin Towers does little to diminish the importance of the remains of the towers and Building 7 as evidence, since the collapse of these three skyscrapers contradicts the entire history of engineered steel structures. Yet the remains of these buildings were systematically removed and destroyed, and their examination was rendered impossible...

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