Commentary

USS New York: 'Never Forget,' indeed

Neighbor Grover sez if the world was a logical place, men would be the ones who ride a horse sidesaddle.

You may or may not have seen this circulating recently on the Internet, but this is factual.

You're looking at the USS New York, christened in 2008 and to be commissioned this year. The vessel's bow stem is said to incorporate 7.5 tons of scrap steel from the World Trade Center.

The ship's motto is, fittingly, "Never Forget."

It is the fifth in a new class of warships designed — also fittingly — for missions that include 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 wreckage of the World Trade Center was melted down in a foundry in Amite, Louisiana, 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 who was there," he noted.

Junior Chavers, foundry operations manager, said that when the trade center steel first arrived, he touched it with his hand. An Associated Press article quoted him: "The hair on my neck stood up. It had a big meaning for all of us," he said. "They knocked us down (on 9-11). They can't keep us down. We're going to be back."

Snopes.com, a web site that researches and separates Internet fact from fiction, reports:

The 684-foot a mph ibiou s assault ship was built at a shipyard in Avondale, Louisiana, where it was christened March 1, 2008.

The USS New York is the fifth in a new class of warship designed for special operations against terrorists. Later ships in this class will include USS Arlington, the location of the Pentagon, also struck by a hijacked jetliner on 9-11. Another will be the USS Somerset, named for the Pennsylvania county where United Flight 93 crashed after its passengers fought off highjackers apparently intent on crashing Fight 93 into another Washington target.

The name New York, according to Snopes.com, has been borne by at least seven different U.S. military ships, most recently the nuclear submarine USS New York City, commissioned in 1979 and retired in 1997.

Finally, some personal thoughts. The ship's motto "Never Forget" should be every American's motto (no apologies to any of you bleeding hearts out there).

The video of those twin towers coming down at the hands of a bunch of cowardly fanatical lunatics on Sept. 11, 2001, should be telecast every morning by all American TV stations when they sign on — accompanied by the National Anthem — and again at night when each station signs off.

Never forget, indeed.

bill@rockdalereporter.com


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The burn ban for Milam County has been lifted. Burning is always prohibited in the county's municipalities.


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