USS New York – A Living, Breathing Symbol

This blog is written by the Commanding Officer of USS New York (LPD 21), Capt. Jon Kreitz. New York is part of the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group and is currently deployed in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.

From the very moment I stepped on board New York, I sensed that there was something different about this ship.  It is true that she is fairly new and clean, she is on her maiden deployment, and is the namesake for the great state of New York, but there is something else entirely different about New York that you will not be able to find anywhere else, but on the grounds where the Twin Towers once stood. This is something in the hearts of those who were forever affected 11 years ago, a solemn promise that we will “Never Forget.”

Not only is there seven and a half tons of steel from the World Trade Center in our bow stem, but in every corner of New York, there are tokens of remembrance; from pictures of fallen New York City policemen to a New York Fire Department firefighter’s helmet. When the days get monotonous and the crew becomes weary, sometimes all it takes is to look up, and instead of seeing only lagging, you see a symbol of something bigger than yourself. New York was not built to be a vessel of mourning, but rather a living, breathing symbol of what our country has come together to build in the days after. New York is 26,000 tons of power projection. Our presence is now serving halfway across the world, and with every nautical mile we travel, we are able to share not only the ship’s story, but the stories of the many Americans who either gave their lives or shared in the grief.

Every Sailor and Marine has a purpose, a commitment and an obligation to our country. We all serve to never forget, and serve in order to maintain a strong legacy of warfighting first. 9/11 is not just a memory, but a reason to continue our desire to serve—to be ready as we operate forward to defend our great country. And that’s what my crew aboard USS New York and I are doing.

Thank you to all who serve and to all who support our efforts in making our country’s Navy the most effective global force for good in history.

Visit our Facebook page: USS New York (LPD-21).

Artist Concept of the amphibious transport dock ship USS New York (LPD 21) in New York harbor. Provided by Naval Sea Systems Command (RELEASED)

ATLANTIC OCEAN (Oct. 29, 2009) Logistics Specialist 1st Class Frank Lewis, left, Master-at-Arms 2nd Class Angel Candelaria, Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Steven Cochrane, and Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Nathaniel Mitchell pose around the crest of the amphibious transport dock ship Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) New York (LPD 21). All four Sailors are from New York and are supporters of the New York Yankees during the World Series. (U.S Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Cory Rose/Released)

NEW YORK (Nov. 2, 2009) The amphibious dock landing ship Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) New York (LPD 21) transits New York Harbor past the World Trade Center site. The ship has 7.5 tons of steel from the World Trade Center in her bow and will be commissioned Nov. 7 in New York City. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Eric M. Durie/Released)

NEW YORK (Nov. 2, 2009) The amphibious dock landing ship Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) New York (LPD 21) enters New York Harbor. The ship has 7.5 tons of steel from the World Trade Center in her bow and will be commissioned Nov. 7 in New York City. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Eric M. Durie/Released)

NEW YORK (Sept. 8, 2011) Crew members aboard the amphibious transport dock ship USS New York (LPD 21), upper right, man the rails and present honors while passing The World Trade Center and the National September 11 Memorial and Museum as the ship arrives in Manhattan. The crew of New York will participate in numerous events throughout the city honoring the victims and responders from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Aboard are family members of victims and first responders from 9/11, along with the crew and Marines assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment. New York was built with 7.5 tons of steel recovered from Ground Zero. New York is scheduled to be pier side in Manhattan Sept. 8-9 and will anchor in the Hudson River Sept. 10-12. On Sept. 11, New York will transit from its anchorage in the Hudson River to a location within sight of the World Trade Center. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Randall A. Clinton/Released)

ARABIAN SEA (June 18, 2012) Marines pilot an amphibious assault vehicle with the amphibious transport dock ship USS New York (LPD 21) in the background while operating in the Arabian Sea. New York, with the embarked 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, is part of the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group. New York is deployed in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Zane Ecklund/Released)

ARABIAN SEA (June 9, 2012) The amphibious transport dock ship USS New York (LPD 21), right, aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), and the guided-missile cruiser USS Cape St. George (CG 71), transit in formation. The ship’s are on deployment to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Colby Neal/Released)