The USS New York (LPD-21) was commissioned today (7 November 2009) in New York City. The vessel contains about 7 tons of World Trade Center steel in its bow. It also has World Trade Center steel in its chapel. U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander Laura Bender serves as the ship’s chaplain. According to the published reports, Chaplain Bender arranged for a Christian cross, a Jewish Star of David and an Islamic crescent to be made for the chapel from the wreckage of the Twin Towers.
The USS New York belongs to the San Antonio class of amphibious warfare ships. Its crew of 360 supports an embarked landing force of 699 Marines. It can launch landing operations by sea or air. In addition to conducting combat operations, ships like the New York are well suited to conduct humanitarian assistance operations and non-combatant evacuation operations as well.