Richard Wright exudes patriotism.
The former Ground Zero worker and Glen Oaks resident got the opportunity to present the USS New York, an amphibious transport dock made in part by using steel from the fallen World Trade Center towers, with a special flag that once waved at all three Sept. 11, 2001, sites — the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and Shanksville, Pa.
When he heard the ship was partly constructed from steel taken from the Twin Towers, Wright, a Vietnam veteran, said that made him want to present the new ship with one of the 22 so-called patriot flags.
“This has been a work of love that started in 2002 and has continued,” Wright said. “I never thought it would escalate into flying flags at all three Sept. 11 sites.”
Wright contacted the ship’s commander, Jones, about flying one of the flags.
“He said, ‘Great. We’d love it,’” Wright recalled.
Wright gave a flag demonstration before presenting Jones with the flag. He also received a two-hour tour of the ship and was able to sit in the captain’s chair.
“That was awesome,” Wright said of the tour.
The flag was the same one flown at the base of the Statue of Liberty when it reopened in 2004, Wright said.
Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at hkoplowitz
©2009 Community News Group
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