10 years ago today, two Al Qaeda terrorists pulled alongside the USS Cole during a routine refueling in Aden, Yemen and detonated a suicide bomb. It was the deadliest attack on a United States naval vessel since 1987.
17 sailors were killed. 39 more were wounded. The 17 sailors who died left behind 11 children. Never forget the names of the fallen who gave their lives in service to our country.
1. Electronics Technician 1st Class Richard Costelow
2. Mess Management Specialist Lakina Francis
3. Information Systems Technician Tim Guana
4. Signalman Seaman Recruit Cherone Gunn
5. Seaman James McDaniels
6. Engineman 2nd Class Mark Nieto
7. Electronics Warfare Technician 3rd Class Ronald Owens
8. Seaman Recruit Lakiba Parker
9. Engineman Fireman Joshua Parlett
10. Fireman Apprentice Patrick Roy
11. Electronics Warfare Technician Kevin Rux
12. Petty Officer 3rd Class Ron Santiago
13. Operations Special 2nd Class Timothy Sanders
14. Fireman Gary Swenchonis Jr
15. Ensign Andrew Triplett
16. Seaman Apprentice Craig Wibberly
17. Hull Maintenance Technician 3rd Class Kenneth Clodfelter.
This was a deliberate act of war by the Al Qaeda organization, and it went ignored by the Clinton administration. The Bush administration responded on November 3, 2002, when the CIA fired a AGM-114 Hellfire missile from a Predator UAV at a vehicle carrying Abu Ali al-Harithi, a suspected planner of the bombing plot and Ahmed Hijazi, a U.S. citizen. Both men died. Now, the Obama administration has shelved prosecution of Abd al-Rahim Al-Nashiri, the alleged mastermind of the bombing.
Indeed, October 12 has become a forgotten day of infamy. Don’t let the memory of the horror of that day fade away, and don’t let the memories of the sailors who were murdered die. Remember their sacrifices today. Remember the Cole.