Governor George E. Pataki hailed
Navy Secretary Gordon England's decision to name a new LPD-17 class amphibious ship the USS New York in
honor of the heroes who died on September 11, as well as to honor the courage and compassion shown by countless New Yorkers in the aftermath of
the terrorist attacks.
This new class of ship is currently under construction with the first to be commissioned in the spring of 2003. The amphibious transports will be used to transport and land Marines, their equipment and supplies by embarked landing craft or amphibious vehicles augmented by helicopters in amphibious assault. The LPD 17 will be a highly reliable, warfare capable ship and the
most survivable amphibious ship ever put to sea.
"The USS New York will ensure that all New Yorkers and the world will never forget the evil attacks of September 11, and the courage and compassion New Yorkers showed in response to terror," said Governor Pataki, who received
word of Secretary England's decision in a phone call Wednesday evening.
"I want to thank Secretary England for taking this extraordinary step and agreeing to pay special tribute to all New Yorkers by giving our name to a ship that will play an important role in the war on terror," the Governor
said. "In addition, I look forward to the USS New York's first visit to our great City and State for Fleet Week."
The Governor recently wrote a letter to Secretary England requesting that the Navy revive the name USS New York in honor of September 11's victims and to give it a surface warship involved in the war on terror. In his letter, the Governor said he understood State names presently are reserved for submarines but asked for special consideration so the name could be given to
a surface ship. In a letter granting the Governor's request, Secretary England said, "From
the war for independence through the war on terrorism, which we wage today, the courage and heroism of the people of New York has been an inspiration. USS New York will play an important role in our Navy's future and will be a
fitting tribute to the people of the Empire State."
Secretary England said, "This new class of ships will project American power to the far corners of the earth and support the cause of freedom well into the 21st century." Several naval ships have held the name USS New York or USS New York City.
The most recent USS New York was a battleship commissioned in 1914, which fought in both European and Pacific waters during World War 11. The USS New York City submarine served in the fleet from 1979 to 1997. New York has a great tradition with the United States Navy, dating to the founding of our nation and, most prominently, when a great New Yorker, Teddy Roosevelt, served as Assistant Secretary of the Navy and founded the Navy League
of New York 100 years ago this year. Another great new Yorker who went on to serve as president, Franklin Roosevelt, also served as Assistant Secretary of the Navy.