On Sept. 11, the 18th anniversary of the terrorists’ attacks upon our soil, we must again remember, honor and reflect on those who perished and the families and friends they left behind. We must keep our flags flying and participate in ceremonies that will keep the memories alive for the past, present and future generations.
On Nov. 25, 2003, the United States Navy announced that they would name a ship the USS New York to honor the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks. On March 1, 2008, the ship was christened, and approximately 7.5 short tons of the steel in the ship’s construction came from the World Trade Center.
On Sept. 9, 2004, the USS Navy announced that the two sister ships of the USS New York would be named, and they were the USS Arlington and the USS Somerset. On March 26, 2011, the USS Arlington was christened, with steel taken from the Pentagon displayed aboard the ship. On July 28, 2012, the USS Somerset was christened, and has nearly 22 tons from a crane that stood near Flight 93’s crash site cast into her bow stem.
We honor those who perished in New York’s World Trade Center attack. I lost 15 of my fellow Villanova graduates in the towers. We honor those who perished in the Pentagon attack. I lost my Northrop Grumman Corporation co-worker Julian Cooper. We honor those who perished in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, whose actions on board prevented the aircraft from continuing on the course to what has been determined our White House.
Like our three USS naval ships that have risen to protect our principals, we too must continue to love our country, appreciate and express that we are Americans, and thank those that are responsible for the protection of our country.
Michael H. Skurecki