Susan Price 5 – 7 minutes
Most Americans over the age of 40 will never forget where they were and what they were doing during the 9/11 attack on our nation. September 11th, 2021, marks the 20th anniversary of the deadliest terrorist act in America, killing 2,977 souls at the New York City, World Trade Center, the U.S Pentagon, and the fatal United Airlines Flight 93 crash in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
The terrorist attacks that reigned down on 9/11 include 2,606 within the World Trade Center and surrounding area, 125 killed at the U.S. Pentagon, 265 killed on the four planes, including terrorists, and 19 hijackers committed murder-suicide with a total of more than 6,000 injured.
The loss of life claimed 344 Firefighters; 71 Law Enforcement Officers within the World Trade Center and surrounding area, including another officer who died when United Airlines Flight 93 crashed in Shanksville, PA; 55 military personnel died at the Pentagon.
Of the 2,977 souls who met their tragic fate that day, 2,605 were U.S. Citizens, and 372 were non-U.S.citizens, involving more than 90 other countries, excluding the 19 perpetrators.
Let’s also not forget that this catastrophe impacted many thousands of innocent Americans who were diagnosed with cancer and chronic lung conditions from exposure to toxins at Ground Zero.
In addition, the by-product of war ensued through these very terroristic acts and claimed the lives of American military soldiers, marines, and contractors through; Operation Iraqi Freedom; Operation New Dawn, which was composed of casualties occurring in the Arabian and middle east Seas; and Operation Enduring Freedom which was the war involved within Afghanistan.
Like the phoenix rising from the ashes, three warships were constructed and emerged from the very materials of the buildings, and civilians attacked on sovereign territory the morning of September 11, 2001. Through the years, the transformation of steel and grit, reformed and reshaped into the three Navy warships, serving as a symbol of the undying fighting American spirit named and dedicated after the locations of the 9/11 attacks.
The USS New York, USS Arlington, and USS Somerset, each ship was created with some of the material from the sites honoring those innocent victims, and first responders killed that tragic day that America will never forget.
The Warship named, The USS New York (LPD21) commemorates the 9/11 attacks through the spirit and motto of “NEVER FORGET,” this ship’s crest includes an image of the twin towers behind a rising phoenix. It honors the victims of the New York World Trade Center. The first ship was built by Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding at the former Avondale shipyard in New Orleans and delivered in 2010 was the first of the LPD17-class ships. It is fortified with 7.5 tons of steel built into the ship’s bow stem, salvaged from Ground Zero, and 684 feet long, costing more than one billion dollars.
“The significance of where the WTC steel is located on the 684-foot-long ship symbolizes the strength and resiliency of the citizens of New York as it sails forward around the world,” said Navy Cmdr. Quentin King, according to ussnewyork.com. “It sends a message of America becoming stronger as a result, coming together as a country and ready to move forward as we make our way through the world.”
The USS Arlington (LPD24) was named in honor of Arlington County, Virginia, where American Flight 77 crashed into the west wall of the Pentagon. It was delivered in 2012 and was built by Huntington Ingalls Industries; the ship contains a “Tribute Room” fortified by a section of I-Beam and remnants of the crash site.
The USS Somerset (LPD25) was named in honor of Somerset County, where the United Airlines Flight 93 crashed into a field when Americans fought so courageously against hijackers. This ship was constructed with 22 tons of steel in the ship’s bow, taken from one of two mining excavators present at the site at the time of the fatal crash.
Americans are a strong and resilient people; we are redefined by the honor and valor of our many heroes who fought their way out of hell on that fateful day, September 11, 2001, at Ground Zero, the Pentagon, and onboard United Airlines Flight 93.
This year as we bow our heads in prayer and celebrate the memory of the reverend souls whose names are forever etched in history, their stories will never be forgotten; they were the backbone of American culture, whether they were first responders, civilians, or military personnel.
God Bless the United States of America and all the families of the fallen tied to 9/11; let us learn from the apocalypse of tyranny and hold those accountable who challenge our sovereign way of life, whether they be foreign or domestic terrorists.
“The planes were hijacked, the buildings fell, and thousands of lives were lost nearly a thousand miles from here. But the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were an attack on the heart of America. And standing here in the heartland of America, we say in one voice…
We will not give in to terrorists;
We will not rest until they are found and defeated;
We will win this struggle, not for glory, nor wealth, nor power, but for justice, for freedom, and for peace;
So help us, God,” – Tom Harkin