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    USS Arlington (LPD 24) Remembers 9/11



    Courtesy Story

    Expeditionary Strike Group 2

    NORFOLK, Va. – Sailors assigned to the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock USS Arlington (LPD 24) participated in 9/11 commemoration events to include hosting first responders from Arlington County, Virginia, Sept. 10-11.

    Like its sister ships, USS New York (LPD 21) and USS Somerset (LPD 25), Arlington was named in honor of the victims and first responders who lost their lives during the terrorist attacks which occurred on Sept. 11, 2001. Since the ship’s commissioning in April 2013, the crew of the Arlington has maintained a continuing relationship with the Arlington County police, fire, and sheriff departments, collaborating on visits every 9/11 anniversary.

    “The USS Arlington is a living memorial to the 184 victims of the attack on the Pentagon by hijacked American Airlines Flight 77, and a tribute the first responders who risked their lives on 9/11 to save others,” said Capt. Chris Hill, the Commanding Officer of Arlington. “We consider it a duty to remember events on that day. It is our motto that we will never forget.”

    In previous years, the ship had commemorated the solemn day by touring and greeting first responders throughout Arlington County and participating in the Arlington 9/11 Memorial 5K Run to support 9/11-related charities, but this year, the crew had to rethink how they would approach the date. Roughly 80 Sailors participated in a virtual 5K event, and on Sept. 10 the ship welcomed a group of first responders to spend a night aboard the ship, integrating with the crew on board. The first responders received a tour of the ship, shared socially distanced meals with the crew, and participated in morning colors with Arlington’s color guard on Sept. 11.

    “As the years go on it is important for people to remember what happened on that day,” said Officer Michael Keen, from Arlington County Police Department, “I think it’s also really unique for the Sailors onboard to understand what they are named after. For us it’s important, for me it’s going full circle – having worked on 9/11 to this point. It’s interesting coming back full circle and being able to commemorate that day aboard here, I don’t believe there is any better honor than that.”

    The six visitors representing Arlington County police, fire and sheriff’s department teamed up with the USS Arlington color guard to hoist the flag to half-mast during morning colors on the flight deck. Guests and crew then participated in a moment of silence at precisely 9:37 a.m., which was when American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the west side of the Pentagon.

    “In these challenging times, it is easy to forget the events of 9/11 and the impact it had on our lives,” said Hill. “In fact, many of my new Sailors were born after 9/11 and consider it historical. I believe it is our duty, however, to take some time each year to reflect on the attack and advocate for the victims. Let’s not forget what happened on that day. Certainly, the men and women serving Arlington County and the USS Arlington will not forget.”

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    Date Taken: 09.11.2020
    Date Posted: 09.29.2020 07:45
    Story ID: 379162

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