"Strength forged through sacrifice. Never forget."
That's the motto of the USS New York, one of three U.S. Navy assault ships dedicated to victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. But the words are more than a tribute -- they're also a history of the ship itself, built with close to eight tons of steel salvaged from World Trade Center wreckage. That strength and sacrifice likely inspired the more than 1,000 shipyard workers who opted to keep working on the USS New York even after the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
"No matter how many times you attack us, we always come back," Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus said at the USS New York's commissioning in 2009. "America always comes back. That's what this ship represents."
Almost 10 years later, the vessel has docked in its namesake city for the 31st annual Fleet Week. From May 22 to 28, active military ships deployed overseas will dock in New York, setting off a robust schedule of events -- from outdoor concerts to fun runs -- in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and the Bronx.
Starting Thursday, you can line up at Pier 88 to tour the USS New York from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (excluding Sunday, May 26). While aboard, take note of the ship's crest, which denotes the Statue of Liberty's crown, the signature colors of first responders in the area, drops of blood representing victims and, of course, the Twin Towers.