JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Mayport's newest ship will bring with it a very special meaning.
For many sailors the USS New York (LPD 21) is not just any ship, but rather a symbol of the reason they serve our country.
"The USS New York has part of the steel from the World Trade Center built into its bow," said Petty Officer William Townsend, Public Affairs Officer for NS Mayport.
That's more than seven tons of steel salvaged from the Twin Towers. Inside the ship, there are reminders of the brave men and women who lost their lives on 9/11.
For Townsend, the terrorist attacks were the reason he re-enlisted in the Navy.
"That tragedy made me realize that this is where I needed to be," said Townsend.
The USS New York will call Mayport home this December, along with its 31 officers, and 326 enlisted sailors and their families to Jacksonville.
"It's tremendous, I can't even quantify or express it," said Townsend. "I just think about the flag that flew over the World Trade Center to have that flag, it's just a symbol."
The remaining ships in the Amphibious Ready Group are scheduled to arrive in Mayport by 2015.