Contact: Carrie DeVries FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CITIZENS ENCOURAGED TO LINE THE LEVEES IN SPECIAL SEND-OFF FOR
USS NEW YORK – LPD 21
Ship Incorporates Nearly Eight Tons of Steel Salvaged from World Trade Center Towers in Honor of Victims of 9/11
NEW ORLEANS – Oct. 5, 2009 – The Greater New Orleans Executives Association (GNOEA) is encouraging citizens to “Line the Levees,” Tuesday, Oct. 13 to salute the USS New York – LPD 21 as it sails from Avondale, through Jefferson and Orleans Parish and past downtown New Orleans between 7:30 a.m. – 8:15 a.m. Residents of metro New Orleans are encouraged to line the East and West Banks of the Mississippi River.
The ship will travel to New York City for a week-long commissioning ceremony scheduled for Nov. 7.
The USS New York – LPD 21, constructed at Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding in Avondale was named in honor of the victims of 9/11. It incorporates in its construction nearly 8 tons of steel salvaged from the fallen World Trade Center towers. The ship’s motto is “Strength forged through sacrifice. Never Forget.”
Lola Lass, President of GNOEA, said her group suggested the send-off celebration to allow the community one final opportunity to salute the ship, its crew and the men and women who spent more than five years building it.
“The “Line the Levees” event will showcase the hard work, love and dedication that went into building this ship,” said Lass. “It will also allow citizens of New Orleans to pay homage to the victims, families and first responders of 9/11.”
GNOEA and L-3 Communications plan to hand out approximately 2,000 flags to residents who come out to line the levees and salute the ship as it passes through the city. In turn, the crew of the USS New York will line the decks in a show of gratitude to the region. Representatives of the city, the US Coast Guard, the US Navy, Northrop Grumman and L-3 Communications will join members of GNOEA near Jax Brewery during the celebration.
The ship is one of 3 amphibious transport dock ships to be named after 9/11, the fifth of the San Antonio class, and the sixth to be named after the state of New York. It carries three types of helicopters, the V-22 tilt-rotor Oprey aircraft, and 14 expeditionary fight vehicles and air-cushioned landing crafts for deployment of U.S Marine Corps and Special Forces personnel.
At 684 feet long, the New York can carry up to 800 crew members and will meet the highest responsiveness and defensive demands of modern-day combat.