Riverview Native serving aboard a US Navy ship forged from 9/11 steel
By Rick Burke, Navy Community Outreach Office
As the nation celebrated the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, a Riverview native served in the United States Navy aboard a ship built of steel from the World Trade Center.
On September 11, 2001, Lt. Nick Driscoll, was in seventh grade watching the towers crumble on a pull-down television in the library at Teague Middle School.
“I sat there with 25 other 12-year-olds, not knowing the world as we knew it would change forever,” Driscoll said. “Similar to the motto of the USS New York, ‘Strength is forged through sacrifice. Never forget’, we must never forget the brave men and women who lost their lives trying to save the innocent from certain death inside the towers.
Driscoll joined the Navy 10 years ago.
“I joined the Navy to be a part of something bigger than myself,” Driscoll said. “September 11 was and continues to be a motivator behind my service. Being able to prevent another 9/11 in any way possible was the driving force behind my decision to join the Navy. “
According to Driscoll, who graduated from Riverview High School in 2007 and graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 2011, the values required to be successful in the military are similar to those found in Riverview.
“Riverview is full of hard working individuals who understand that nothing will be given to you and who strive for excellence in everything you do,” said Driscoll. “This work ethic has brought me to where I am in my career.”
The bow of the USS New York is forged from steel recovered from the wreckage of the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center. According to Navy officials, the Navy’s namesake 9/11 ships uphold the virtues of service, sacrifice and selflessness that have always been the source of America’s strength.
“It is an honor and a privilege to carry on the legacy of the selfless heroes and unwitting victims of the 9/11 attacks,” said USS New York Commander Captain Javier Gonzalez. “Our ship embodies the passion for combat that united Americans, despite unimaginable tragedy, to defend the values of our country and continue the quest for freedom in the world.
New York is designed to deliver Marines and their equipment to where they are needed to support a variety of missions ranging from beach assaults to humanitarian relief efforts.
Home in Norfolk, Virginia, the USS New York is longer than two football fields at 684 feet. The vessel is 105 feet wide and weighs over 24,000 tons. It has four diesel engines which can push the vessel through water at over 26 mph.
Serving in the Navy means that Driscoll is part of a world that takes on new significance in the United States’ focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances, and reforming business practices at support for the national defense strategy.
“Since more than 75% of world trade is carried out by water, it is crucial that the Navy maintains the freedom of the seas,” said Driscoll. “Not only do we ensure that waterways around the world remain open to trade, but we provide a projection of power that helps deter aggression from our enemies, hopefully preventing any further 9/11-like attempts.” . “
With more than 90 percent of all trade by sea and 95 percent of the world’s international telephone and Internet traffic passing through fiber-optic cables lying on the ocean floor, Navy officials continue to emphasize that the prosperity and security of the United States are directly linked to a strong and ready Navy.
As a member of the US Navy, Driscoll and other New York sailors are proud to be part of a combat team that embodies the spirit, strength and resilience of the American people.
“I am honored to be able to serve on the USS New York,” added Driscoll. “The sacrifices made by the brave men and women of NYPD, NYFD and NYPA inspire me every day.
For more information on the Navy’s 9/11 commemoration, please visit www.history.navy.mil.