The Navy recently christened a new ship which includes 7.5 tons of steel from the World Trade Center. While I support a strong military I have trouble with the symbolism behind this project. That steel has so much death already associated with it that I have difficulty imagining it being used to bring about even more suffering, regardless of the reasons involved. I know my cousin Alisha would be appalled by this decision. Here is what a few people associated with the ceremony had to say:
"It resurrects the ashes, so to speak, to do great things for our
nation," said Bill Glenn, a spokesman for Northrop Grumman
Shipbuilding, the ship builder.
USS New York’s prospective commanding officer is Cmdr. F. Curtis
Jones, a native New Yorker. It is to be commissioned, essentially added
to the fleet, next year. It could be used as part of peaceful missions
or as part of war, said Adm. Gary Roughead, the Navy’s chief of
That it could be used in war did not bother Lee
Ielpi, president of the September 11th Families’ Association, whose
son, Jonathan, a firefighter, died in the attacks. The ship won’t be
used for war "unless you bother us," he said in an interview.
sending a message that we’re standing strong," he said, adding: "This
ship, as it cuts through the water, is going to send a ripple. That
ripple will say, ‘We cherish our freedom.’"
Rep. Vito Fossella,
R-N.Y., said Sept. 11 was a turning point in the nation, and will never
be forgotten because remnants of the disaster are part of the ship.
the USS New York has to follow Osama bin Laden to the gates of hell,
PCO Jones and his crew … have my full support," he said to a standing
Why couldn’t the steel be used for one of the Navy’s hospital ships or another type of vessel that would be more clearly perceived as having "peaceful" intentions? Please understand that I am not a pacifist. I just wonder whether this is really an appropriate use of such emotionally-charged material. What about preserving the steel for future memorials to the victims of 9-11 or even other catastrophic events? It seems to me that there are more fitting ways to demonstrate to the world that, "We cherish our freedom."