USS Cole Holds Remembrance Ceremony

Story Number: NNS171012-19Release Date: 10/12/2017 4:22:00 PM
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By Lt. j.g. Travis Greenaway, SURFLANT public affairs

NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) (NNS) -- The guided-missile destroyer USS Cole (DDG 67) crew, families and guests gathered together at Naval Station Norfolk to commemorate the 17th anniversary of the ship's bombing, with a wreath-laying and "Roll Call of Heroes," Oct. 12.

The remembrance ceremony honored and celebrated the 17 shipmates who perished in the attack, as well as the resolve and warfighting attitude the "Mighty Cole" continues to embrace.

Deployed to the Middle East, on this day in 2000, Cole stopped briefly for refueling in the port of Aden, Yemen. At approximately 11:18 a.m., unknown to Cole security, a small boat with terrorists aboard came alongside the ship. Suddenly, a highly explosive bomb detonated alongside Cole. The explosion was so massive, it crumbled a 40-by-60 foot hole on the port side of the ship, taking the lives of 17 Sailors and injuring 39 others. Cole's Sailors courageously fought fires and flooding for the following 96 hours to keep the ship afloat.

Commander, Naval Surface Force Atlantic Rear Adm. Jesse A. Wilson Jr., provided the keynote address.

"The memories of that day are we pause to honor our lost shipmates and celebrate the lives they lived, let us also remember who they were. They were parents, sons, daughters, uncles, aunts, cousins and friends. They were United States Navy Sailors, forward deployed, who volunteered to serve our nation and defend our freedoms when they were attacked," said Wilson. "It is that service and their sacrifice, that we honor here today."

The Cole's Commanding Officer, Cmdr. David P. Wroe, also provided remarks.

"Cole is a very special ship, we serve every day in honor of our predecessors who made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation," said Wroe. "On this day, we take a moment to briefly reflect on the Sailors who valiantly fought to save Cole. Their sacrifices will forever be honored."

"The spirit, honor and courage represented by the Cole heroes lives on in our Navy core values and in our determination to defend our great nation," said Wilson.

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Cmdr. David Wroe, commanding officer of the guided-missile destroyer USS Cole (DDG 67), and Command Master Chief Michale Leggett place a wreath at the USS Cole Memorial.
171012-N-XT183-092 NORFOLK (Oct. 12, 2017) Cmdr. David Wroe, commanding officer of the guided-missile destroyer USS Cole (DDG 67), and Command Master Chief Michale Leggett place a wreath at the USS Cole Memorial as Rear Adm. Jessie A. Wilson, Jr., commander, Naval Surface Force Atlantic, pays his respects. Cole friends, family and shipmates, both past and present, gathered at the USS Cole Memorial at Naval Station Norfolk, Va., for the 17th remembrance of the USS Cole terrorist attack. Seventeen Sailors lost their lives and another 39 sustained injuries while the crew worked for 96 consecutive hours to keep the ship afloat. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jacques Renard)
October 13, 2017
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