The USS New York is 684 feet long and can carry as many as 800 Marines. Its flight deck that can handle helicopters and the MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
The new Navy assault ship USS New York, built with World Trade Center steel, arrived in its namesake city Monday with a 21-gun salute near the site of the 2001 terrorist attack.
First responders, families of Sept. 11 victims and the public gathered Monday at a waterfront viewing area, where they could see the crew standing at attention along the deck of the battleship gray vessel.
The big ship paused. Then the shots were fired, with a cracking sound, in three bursts.
The bow of the $1 billion ship, built in Louisiana, contains about 7.5 tons of steel from the fallen towers.
“It’s a transformation … from something really twisted and ugly,” said Rosaleen Tallon, who lost her firefighter brother, Sean, on 9/11. “I’m proud that our military is using that steel.”
Tallon said her brother, who was also was a Marine, would have been proud.
The symbolism was lost on none of the sailors or Marines on board, reports CBS News correspondent Jim Axelrod.
“I will never forget what that felt like, standing on the flight deck, coming up the Hudson river, passing right by the statue of liberty, paying honor at ground zero,” said Capt. Jim Pekula.
JoAnn Atlas, of Howells, N.Y., who lost her husband, fire Lt. Gregg Atlas, draped a flag-themed banner along the fence. The names of emergency workers who died were written on the red stripes.
“We have to remember. It’s a way to honor them,” she said.