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U.S. Fleet Forces Command (USFFC)

USS Somerset (LPD 25) Visits Namesake to Honor 9/11

by Petty Officer 1st Class Benjamin Dobbs
12 September 2022

SHANKSVILLE, Penn. - The crew of the amphibious transport dock ship USS Somerset (LPD 25) visited Somerset County, Pa., to attend the 21st Anniversary Observance of September 11 at the Flight 93 National Memorial.

The ship was named for Somerset County, in honor of the 40 passengers and crew who gave their lives on United Airlines Flight 93, which was hijacked during the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The passengers and crew prevented the plane from reaching its intended target, but tragically crashed in Stoneycreek Township in Somerset County.

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SLIDESHOW | 4 images | 220911-N-RB168-0953 220911-N-RB168-0953 Shankville, Pa. (Sept. 11, 2022) - Sailors from the amphibious transport dock ship USS Somerset (LPD 25), pose for a photo during the 21st anniversary of 9/11 at the Flight 93 National Memorial. The U.S. Navy sent 22 Sailors from USS Somerset to Somerset County for a multi-day trip to attend the observance, and serve in a uniformed capacity as escorts, honoring the families of the 40 passengers and crew that perished on Flight 93. USS Somerset personnel participated in various service and engagement Community Relations projects (COMRELs) during their trip. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Benjamin Dobbs/Released)


Commanding Officer, Capt. Chris Brown and 22 Sailors arrived in Somerset County for a multi-day trip to attend the observance, and serve in a uniformed capacity as escorts, honoring the families of the 40 passengers and crew that perished on Flight 93.

First Lady Dr. Jill Biden laid a wreath at the Wall of Names at the Flight 93 National Memorial and provided remarks as the keynote speaker for the observance.

“Sept. 11 touched us all,” said Biden. “It changed us all, but it reminds us that, with courage and kindness, we can be a light in that darkness. It showed us that we are all connected to one another.”

The first lady greeted the entire crew, gave them words of encouragement and appreciation, and took a group photo with them.

USS Somerset personnel participated in various service and engagement Community Relations projects (COMRELs) during their trip.

Their annual visit fosters the strong relationship with the Somerset County community and allows Sailors to share the significance of being assigned to Somerset.

"We are honored to represent Somerset County and the heroes of Flight 93," said Capt. Chris Brown, commanding officer of USS Somerset. "We will continue to help current and future generations understand that individual choices make a difference, that compassion and sacrifice can triumph over evil and hate, and that the actions of the heroes of Flight 93 is one of the most courageous acts in American history."

The crew attended a high school football game to show support for their namesake, interact with local fans, and present a flag. Dean of students and athletic director, Scott Close accepted the flag on behalf of Somerset Area Jr.-Sr. High School.

“This is absolutely incredible,” said Close. “Being a lifelong Somerset County resident and being here during the events of 9/11, I followed the progress of the building or USS Somerset to when it was finally commissioned. It means a lot to us, the school district and entire Somerset County. We appreciate Captain Brown and you guys taking the time to come out on a Friday night and share the evening with us.”

The Somerset crew also visited Central Cambria High School, the Somerset courthouse, Patriot Park, and the Stoystown American Legion where the met with local veterans.

Somerset is a San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock assigned to Commander, Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 3 and home ported in San Diego. The ship’s keel contains steel from a mining machine standing near the crash site in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. Every deck of the ship contains mementos of Flight 93, including a dedicated passageway leading to the Memorial Room, which bears the names of the passengers. Like its sister ships USS New York (LPD 21) and USS Arlington (LPD 24), Somerset was named in honor of those who lost their lives during the 9/11 terrorist attacks.


 
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