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World Trade Center scrap to be used in USS New York
By Joel Stashenko, Associated Press, 12/25/2002 15:21

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) Steel salvaged from the wreckage of the World Trade Center will be used to build the Navy's USS New York, a warship named in honor of those who perished in New York on Sept. 11, 2001.

The scrap steel will be extricated from the Fresh Kills landfill on Staten Island on Friday and trucked south to a Northrop Grumman shipyard in Pascagoula, Miss. Northrop Grumman will start building the USS New York in Pascagoula in the middle of next year.

The USS New York will be the fifth of 12 amphibious assault ships in the San Antonio class, which the Navy calls one of its most technologically innovative. The 684-foot vessel will carry a Navy crew of 402 and up to 800 Marines.

The $800 million vessel should be ready for active duty in 2007.

If the trade center scrap meets specifications, it will be melted down and used to configure the edge of the bow that cuts through the water, said Northrop Grumman spokesman Jim McIngdale.

''We're very proud that the twisted steel from the WTC towers will soon be used to forge an even strong national defense,'' New York Gov. George Pataki said. ''The USS New York will soon be defending freedom and combatting terrorism around the globe, while also ensuring that the world never forgets the evil attacks of Sept. 11 and the courage and strength New Yorkers showed in response to terror.''

New York state officials needed to get special authorization from Navy Secretary Gordon England to name the surface vessel the USS New York. Currently, only submarines are given state names. Pataki wanted the USS New York to participate in the fight against terrorism.

It was the Navy's idea to incorporate scrap from the trade center in the new vessel, aides to Pataki said.

The structural steel primarily comes in a beam about 20 feet long and weighing between 20 and 30 tons that was identified by New York City officials in the Staten Island landfill, where the trade center wreckage was dumped. It is believed to have been part of the south tower, the second of the twin skyscrapers to be hit by jetliners hijacked by terrorists on Sept. 11 but the first to collapse.

Nearly 3,000 people died in the attack on the World Trade Center.

Most of the structural steel reclaimed from the trade center site has already been sold for scrap.

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 II.
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