Sunday, May 28, 2006

Navy forges New York with Ground Zero steel

"The warship New York, partially fashioned with steel salvaged from the World Trade Center site, is rising to life on the banks of the Mississippi River just outside New Orleans, built by workers who lost their homes and more to Hurricane Katrina.

And though the massive 684-foot-long vessel is still a year away from setting sail - with 10 tons of WTC steel at the bow - it is already stirring powerful emotions among those forging its awe-inspiring hull.

"I was going to retire last year but I told my wife that I had to see this one final ship through," said Tony Quagliro, 66, the project's crane superintendent who has worked in the Louisiana shipyard for 41 years.

The $1.3 billion New York will be the fifth of its class of warships that will specialize in supporting amphibious assaults by delivering helicopters and up to 800 Marines to combat.

The first, the San Antonio, is in Manhattan for Fleet Week. Future ships will also honor the terror attacks' victims by adopting the names of Arlington [Va.] and Somerset [Pa.], the locations of the other two Sept. 11 plane crashes.

"The courage of the heroes that day will never be forgotten," said Rear Adm. Charles Hamilton, executive director of the ship program."

It'll be good to see the name as a symbol of something other than a clarion call for leftwing lunatics or the deadliest attack ever upon US soil. And the fact that SOME people DO actually work in Louisiana is nice to know as well.

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