The newly built 208m amphibious assault ship, designed to carry up to 800 marines and helicopters, marked its maiden voyage into New York with a 21-gun salute just off Ground Zero.
Thousands gathered along the Hudson River to remember the nearly 3000 people killed on September 11, 2001 and to salute the ship, whose bow section contains 7.5 tonnes of steel from the towers destroyed by the hijacked airliners.
"I am here because my son Michael was killed on 9/11. He was a firefighter," Nancy Cinei said.
"He was on the job only nine weeks. Knowing that the World Trade Center is a part of the USS New York means a lot to me.
"To know that that ship will go all over the world and that the world and people will realise that it is part of the WTC which will never be forgotten."
Brian Dunwoody, with the Port Authority police, had mixed emotions on seeing the navy's latest vessel steam into his native city.
"It is a happy occasion. Unfortunately it is the result of something tragic," he said.
"My police department lost 37 officers that day.
"The fact that they built this battleship with that steel is a nice way to remember those that we lost that day."
The USS New York was built in Louisiana.
Two other ships - the Arlington and Somerset - are being built in honor of the victims of the 9/11 attacks, incorporating materials from the Pentagon, which was struck by an airliner, and United Flight 93, which crashed into a field after being hijacked.
Source: The Australian