USS Somerset, The Real Lesson of 9/11

On March 1, 2014 the USS Somerset (LPD-25) will be commissioned in Philadelphia. The Somerset is the third and final San Antonio Class vessel named after 9/11 locations.

The other two vessels of the same class that preceded the USS Somerset are the USS New York and the USS Arlington.  The names of the earlier two vessels are probably more obvious, but the Somerset is truly the more appropriately named vessel. Naval vessel names (or for that matter any vessel’s name) should be inspirational.

Undoubtedly, there is inspiration to be found in the aftermath of the Al Qaeda attack on the World Trade Centers or the Pentagon, but the USS New York and USS Arlington refer to truly evil attacks by a bunch of delusional manics. In this regard, it leaves me somewhat uncomfortable that two Navy ships provide even the slightest reference to these attacks on the United States. However, the Somerset tells a different story. The Somerset refers to United Airlines Flight 93. This is the flight where the passengers took action and tried to regain control of the airplane but died in the attempt when the plane crashed into a field in Somerset County, PA.

Reading the wikipedia article on Flight 93 is absolutely terrifying and heart rending with passengers talking on cell phones and recordings of them making plans to retake the plane after they heard of the other airplanes crashing into buildings. Reading the article leaves the reader with only one prayer: “Please, if I ever find myself in such a situation, please, please, provide me with the power to think and act as decisively as the passengers and crew on Flight 93.”

There is something uniquely American about acting quickly when things go wrong, and the last words from Todd Beamer, one of the passengers, are a true inspiration to all: “Are you guys ready? Ok, Let’s roll!

A US Navy ship’s commissioning is a privately funded affair, if you can, please visit and make a donation to help fund a great commissioning event. You will support all that is best about the American Spirit and support our most appropriate homage to 9/11.