USS Somerset named in honor of Flight 93 passengers
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/TIMES NEWS Cole Hayes, Commanding Officer of the USS Somerset, prepares to place a luminaria in front of the Flight 93 Memorial, Somerset County.
The United Stated Navy is honoring the passengers of United Airlines Flight 93 by naming a ship in memory of their actions.
The ship, called USS Somerset (LPD 25), was named in honor of the crew's actions that prevented terrorist hijackers from reaching their intended target, forcing the airplane to crash in Stonycreek Township (2 miles north of Shanksville) in Somerset County on September 11, 2001.
Secretary of the Navy Gordon England said, "The courage and heroism of the people aboard the flight will never be forgotten and USS Somerset will leave a legacy that will never be forgotten by those wishing to do harm to this country."
It is estimated that about 22 tons of steel from a crane that stood near Flight 93's crash site have been used to construct Somerset's stemhold. Somerset's keel was laid down on 11 December 2009, at Northrop Grumman's Avondale shipyard in New Orleans, Louisiana. She was launched on 14 April 2012, and was christened three months later, on 28 July. It is expected to be commissioned in July 2013.