USS New York (LPD 21) Sailors and Marines from the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) held a remembrance ceremony honoring the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks while on the ship's maiden deployment, Sept. 11.
Commanding Officer Capt. Jon Kreitz addressed the crew with his remarks about the significance of the events and America's response to such tragedies.
"Sept. 11 was a day that changed each of us and our lives forever," said Kreitz. "In the heroism shown that day, we were reminded that we are a great nation, one where ordinary Americans performed extraordinary acts in the face of evil and enemies."
Other events included a choral rendition of the national anthem, a rifle salute and a reenlistment ceremony. Damage Controlman 2nd Class David Dubis chose the day to continue his military service while honoring the fallen New York firefighters of Department 343. He said the oath of enlistment dressed out in a firefighting ensemble while breathing air from a self-contained breathing apparatus.
"It was a once in a lifetime opportunity to re-enlist on a ship built with steel from the Twin Towers, and on the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks," said Dubis. "It's an honor to keep protecting my country against terrorism, and to remember people who gave their lives doing the same job I do."
The occasion was especially significant for the Sailors and Marines who hail from the state of New York. Staff Sgt. Dela Tsawo of Brooklyn, N.Y., conveyed his appreciation of the significance of New York and her crew's mission.
"Sept. 11 was a tragedy, but at the same time it was an experience that unfortunately will never be forgotten," said Tsawo. "Being part of [USS] New York's history and maiden deployment has been a great honor."
New York is part of the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group with the embarked 24th MEU. New York is currently on her maiden deployment in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. The USS New York is the sixth ship named for the state of New York, and the fifth amphibious transport dock ship in the San Antonio Class. Her motto is "Strength forged through sacrifice. Never forget."
Article by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Zane Ecklund, USS New York Public Affairs