Ingalls shipyard workers pause for 9/11 tribute - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Ingalls shipyard workers pause for 9/11 tribute

Jeanne Gardner, inventory supply handler, tosses the 9/11 memorial wreath at the ceremony in Pascagoula. (Photo source: Facebook/Huntington Ingalls Industries) Jeanne Gardner, inventory supply handler, tosses the 9/11 memorial wreath at the ceremony in Pascagoula. (Photo source: Facebook/Huntington Ingalls Industries)
PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) -

Shipyard workers in Pascagoula paused Friday to remember the victims of 9/11.

Ingalls shipyard hosted one of several remembrance ceremonies held throughout South Mississippi to mark the 10th anniversary of September 11th.

Ingalls is building three warships that are named for the locations where the planes crashed. The USS New York has already been delivered; Arlington and Somerset are now under construction.

Shipyard workers held a moment of silence at 7:46 Friday morning, the minute the first plane hit the World Trade Center, then gathered during the lunch hour for a brief ceremony.

"Our purpose today, is to honor those heroes and remember the victims who perished in the World Trade Center, in the Pentagon and on a lonely field in Pennsylvania," said company president, Irwin Edenzon.

The Ingalls president reflected on 9/11 as he spoke to shipyard workers near the Arlington, a ship named for the attack on the Pentagon

Shipyard worker Jeanne Gardner was chosen to toss a wreath in the water; a wreath bearing the names of each of the 9/11 victims, along with the state flags and flowers of New York, Virginia and Pennsylvania.

She had a nephew working in the Pentagon on 9/11.

"He had just gotten up from his desk to walk and take some paperwork to the back. If he hadn't gotten up at that precise moment, he would have been killed also. But thankfully, he wasn't," said Gardner, recalling those anxious moments when the family didn't know her nephew's fate.

Sailors who will serve aboard the Arlington understand the extra measure of pride and patriotism that comes with that assignment.

"We all remember where we were at that time. We always will remember. And this is our way of being part of taking back America," said Lt. William Buffington.

"I feel a lot of pride doing this," said shipbuilder Frank Welsh, of Poplarville.

He is among those helping build the Arlington. Ten years ago, Welsh was on a high rise construction project in New Jersey, with a distant view of the twin towers.

"Everybody was kind of in shock. It was just something they'd never seen. And the first report was that a little small plane had hit the towers. After that, we saw the other plane come in and hit. So, it was kind of a shock, a real shock at that point," Welsh recalled.

The shipyard president says Ingalls post-9/11 mission is clear.

"Continue to design, build and deliver great ships to our sailors and marines, that enable them to take the fight to our enemies. This is our way of fighting back against terrorism," he said.

Ingalls has already built and delivered the USS New York. Arlington remains under construction at in Pascagoula and Somerset is being built at the company's Avondale shipyard.

Copyright 2011 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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