USS Somerset Commissioned In Honor Of Flight 93By: Val Powell - March 2, 2014
On March 1, the USS Somerset was commissioned to become a Navy warship to honor Flight 93, which was hijacked and headed for Washington D.C., but crashed in Pennsylvania killing 40 passengers and crew. The plane was one of the four that was hijacked in September 11, 2001.
The Navy ship was sponsored to be built on December 2007 by Mary Jo Myers, wife of General Richard Myers who is the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The ship was named USS Somerset after Somerset county in Pennsylvania where Flight 93 crashed in 2001. USS Somerset is the third ship to commemorate lives lost to the 9/11 attacks, the first and second ones are the USS New York and USS Arlington. It took $1.2 billion and four years to build the USS Somerset.
According to Senator Pat Toomey, the ship was built in commemoration of the day America began to fight back.
USS Somerset carried Marine Corps and the Navy during the ceremony. After hours of waiting, Mary Jo Myers finally said the words “Man this ship and bring her to life.”
The sailors were stationed on the upper decks and the brow of the ship, looking like dwarves in the vessel that weighed 25,000 tons. Also in attendance were the shipbuilders, politicians, the military, and families of those who were killed in Flight 93.
The President of Families of Flight 93, Gordon Felt, reminded the Marines and sailors to use the tragedy as motivation to serve the country. He also said that “heroism is not achieved, it is revealed.” – just like the passengers and crew of Flight 93 who set out on the morning of 9/11 not knowing what was going to happen.
A lifeboat emerged as a door on the ship was opened and the ship’s horn then boomed loudly.
The ship is set for leaving its homeport in San Diego on Tuesday morning. Reports say that the USS Somerset will also be utilized for humanitarian efforts. Captain Thomas Dearborn, the ship’s commanding officer, told his crew that they will be helping those in need in any way they can – through typhoons, volcanic eruptions, and even piracy.
Image via Wikimedia Commons