Steel from Ground Zero finds new home in US Navy assault vessel

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The Independent US

The US Navy's new amphibious assault vessel, 684 feet long and built at a cost of $1.2bn (£750m), earned a rousing reception as it nosed its way out of the Mississippi to the Atlantic yesterday. Because although it looks like any other vessel of its class, it is subtly different: the steel in its bow comes from Ground Zero in New York.

Capable of carrying 800 Marines as well as handling flight operations for helicopters and tilt-rotor aircraft, the ship will arrive on the wharfs of Manhattan in early November where it will be formally commissioned and named USS New York as a tribute to the city that suffered the worst of the attacks on 11 September 2001. About 7.5 tonnes of steel salvaged from the collapsed Twin Towers were used in the building of the ship.

"That steel means a whole lot more than just metal," Ronnie Harris, the Mayor of Gretna, the Louisiana town where the ship was built, said. "The entire country comes together in that bow stem and I'm so proud that this event puts it in the history books.

Brian Corcoran, a mechanical contractor who was cheering it on from the shore with his four children, said: "Hopefully it's going overseas to do damage to them like they did to us."