USS Somerset arrives in San Diego today

SAN DIEGO - The third of three Navy ships named in connection with the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks arrived at its San Diego homeport Monday.

The 684-foot amphibious transport dock ship USS Somerset, the ninth vessel of its class, was commissioned March 1 in Philadelphia before an estimated audience of 5,000 people.

Somerset is named in honor of the crew and passengers of United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed near Shanksville, Pa., in Somerset County during the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Family members of those killed on the flight were on hand for the ceremony, as was Keri Winslow, whose husband serves on the ship.

"Being there was pretty amazing and emotional, you really can wrap your head around what those heroes did," she said.

On the ship's massive hanger doors is the number 93 and the words "Let's Roll" -- the words overheard on a cellphone from Todd Beamer as he and other passengers tried to re-take the plane.

The vessel has a crew of nearly 400 and can transport around 1,200 Marines. Amphibious transport dock ships carry smaller landing craft that are designed to transport troops into war zones. They can also carry helicopters and can be used to deliver other cargo, such as supplies.

"It's his first ship and he's the master at arms and I know for him it's a big deal," said Crystal Tronboll, who was among dozens of family members waiting for the ship to arrive.

The other amphibious transport dock ships are the USS New York and USS Arlington. The New York was named in honor of the victims and first-responders at the World Trade Center towers, while the Arlington is named for those who died -- and the rescuers at -- the Pentagon.

Like her sister ships, the USS Somerset carries a permanent piece of 9/11 steel.

"They melted a 25-ton drag line that worked the crash site and made the bow stem of Somerset," said Capt. Thomas Dearborn, the ship's commanding officer.

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