Fleet Week: USS New York the pride of the city

The USS New York passes by Lady Liberty.

As the 10th anniversary of 9/11 nears, Fleet Week 2011 takes on a special meaning this year.

For the first time ever, the USS New York joined the fleet of ships carrying Navy, Army and Air Force members that sailed into New York Harbor yesterday.

The USS New York aircraft carrier was built using 7.5 tons of steel salvaged from the World Trade Center. The steel makes up the bow stem, or front, of the boat.

Starting at 8 a.m. this morning and lasting through next Tuesday, the USS New York will be open for public visitation and tours of the vessel. She will be docked at Homeport Pier in Staten Island.

This Saturday, a group of 9/11 family members, the Sept. 11th Families Association, will formally adopt the ship in a special private ceremony.

Lee Ielpi will be there. Nine years ago, Ielpi, a former FDNY firefighter, carried the body of his 29-year-old firefighter son, Jonathan, out of the rubble of the World Trade Center. Ielpi later founded the Tribute WTC Visitor Center.

“It gives us a chance to express our appreciation for all the men and women in the service, especially those onboard the USS New York,” he said.

Follow Carly Baldwin on Twitter @CarlyatMetro.


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