NEW YORK (NNS) -- New York City is winding down after hosting veterans focused events throughout the city including the New York City Veterans Day Parade, or 'America's Parade,' Nov. 11, and a port visit by USS New York (LPD 21).
The return of the namesake ship to New York City for Veterans Week was the highlight of the week, which coincided with the Navy being the featured service in the largest Veterans Day parade in the United States. Her port visit came on the tail end of training exercises in the Atlantic, and was her first port visit here since 2013.
Approximately 375 Sailors and 100 Marines assigned to the ship participated with more than 200 other active-duty and reserve Sailors from New York and the surrounding area in celebration of the service of all American veterans.
Sailors and Marines from the ship participated in national morning shows such as Good Morning America and the Today Show, visited the National 9/11 Memorial and Museum and the 9/11 Tribute Center, toured the headquarters of the National Football League and built care packages for deployed troops.
USS New York's bow stem is made from 7.5 tons of steel recovered from the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, and her motto, "Strength Forged through Sacrifice, Never Forget", honors those who gave their lives that day.
"We carry the blood, sweat and tears of all those who lost their lives during 9/11," said Chief Petty Officer David Montgomery, a sailor from Chicago, Illinois who is assigned to the ship. "We carry that resilience with us every day, and it means more than words for us to be here in New York."
"It is very emotional for us to be in New York," said Boatswain's Mate Second Class Earnest Hightower, a native of McKinney, Texas. "To be able to visit the city that our ship is named after and meeting Sailors from here is an honor."
"The Veterans Day Parade was extra special this year because of the return of the USS New York," said Personnel Specialist 3rd Class Donovan Samlal, a sailor from Navy Operational Support Center (NOSC) New York City. "We were able to show love, support and respect to those who served, and we had a chance to welcome the Sailors aboard USS New York."
As the Navy was the featured service of the 2015 America's Parade, Secretary of the Navy, Hon. Ray Mabus and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Mike Stevens served as honorary parade grand marshals, and were accompanied along the parade route by distinguished guests such as Rear Adm. Cynthia M. Thebaud, commander of Expeditionary Strike Group 2. Other notable celebrity guests included the parade's Grand Marshal Robert Morgenthau, legendary television producer and World War II veteran Norman Lear, and celebrity talk show host and veteran Montel Williams. Morgenthau, who is a Navy veteran of World War II, served as Manhattan's district attorney from 1975 until 2009.
Veterans Week New York City 2015 ended as the ship departed Manhattan's west side after a speedy visit from New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Commissioner of the Mayor's Office of Veterans Affairs Dr. Loree Sutton to wish the ship and crew fair winds, following seas and a speedy return to the Big Apple.
For more news from Navy Office of Information, East, visit www.navy.mil/local/navinfoeast/.