BettyConfidential Visits the USS New York
We salute the ship that honors 9/11 and the women who are members of the crew.
In honor of Veterans Day on November 11, BettyConfidential took a special tour of the USS New York, a remarkable ship that was commissioned this past Saturday. The New York was built with 7.5 tons of steel from the World Trade Center in her bow. She – yes, all ships, by tradition, are considered feminine – will carry troops, helicopters and amphibious vehicles to crisis spots around the world.
Last week, the USS New York sailed up the Hudson, stopping across from the World Trade Center site to deliver a stirring 21-gun salute. While docked on Manhattan’s West Side next to the World War II battleship Intrepid, which is now a floating museum, the New York was visited by many families who lost loved ones in the attack on the Twin Towers. Groups of firefighters and police officers also came on board to honor their fallen 9/11 comrades. The ship’s motto is “Never Forget.”
The New York has a crew of 338, including 68 women. When BettyConfidential walked the massive decks, we had a chance to talk to two young women sailors who were on duty. They told us they felt lucky to be members of the crew of this very special ship.
Leslie Smith on the deck of the USS New York
“It was the luck of the draw that got me here,” said Leslie Smith, 19, from Merced, California, who has been in the Navy for just over a year. She agreed that sailing in on the New York was a great way to see the city for the first time.
Leslie said, “When we stopped to salute the site of the Twin Towers, I was very emotional. I was up on deck and kept telling myself – ‘You can’t cry.’ I was in sixth grade on that day. I remember my mom explaining to me that the city was under attack.”
Leslie joined up “to get some college courses,” she said, but now thinks she may make the Navy her career. “There are some tough times. But there are always tough times in life. I joined because I wanted to make something of myself.