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Commander, Naval Surface Forces Atlantic

CNO Asks Fleet for Moment of Silence in Honor of USS Cole 20th Anniversary

by Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Mike Gilday
05 October 2020
The official logo for 20th anniversary of the Oct. 12, 2000, terrorist attack on Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Cole (DDG 67), where 17 Sailors were killed and 37 injured while the ship refueled in Yemen.
200911-N-WQ732-1002 NORFOLK (Sept. 11, 2020) The official logo for 20th anniversary of the Oct. 12, 2000, terrorist attack on Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Cole (DDG 67), where 17 Sailors were killed and 37 injured while the ship refueled in Yemen. The design incorporates 17 stars which represents each Sailor who gave their life during the attack. Three stars are enlarged, signifying the three grenade attacks made by the ship's namesake, Sgt. Darrell S. Cole, USMC, at the battle of Iwo Jima and the ship sails left-to-right, showing the ship always headed into the future. The design is dedicated to all USS Cole Sailors – past and present – forever bound together by a history of heroism, personal sacrifice, and the fighting spirit of the U.S. Navy. The logo was designed by Fire Controlman (Aegis) 2nd Class Emilio McPherson, an active duty Sailor currently assigned to USS Cole. (U.S. Navy illustration by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Chelsea Palmer)
The official logo for 20th anniversary of the Oct. 12, 2000, terrorist attack on Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Cole (DDG 67), where 17 Sailors were killed and 37 injured while the ship refueled in Yemen.
Remember 67 Official Logo
200911-N-WQ732-1002 NORFOLK (Sept. 11, 2020) The official logo for 20th anniversary of the Oct. 12, 2000, terrorist attack on Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Cole (DDG 67), where 17 Sailors were killed and 37 injured while the ship refueled in Yemen. The design incorporates 17 stars which represents each Sailor who gave their life during the attack. Three stars are enlarged, signifying the three grenade attacks made by the ship's namesake, Sgt. Darrell S. Cole, USMC, at the battle of Iwo Jima and the ship sails left-to-right, showing the ship always headed into the future. The design is dedicated to all USS Cole Sailors – past and present – forever bound together by a history of heroism, personal sacrifice, and the fighting spirit of the U.S. Navy. The logo was designed by Fire Controlman (Aegis) 2nd Class Emilio McPherson, an active duty Sailor currently assigned to USS Cole. (U.S. Navy illustration by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Chelsea Palmer)
Photo By: Seaman Apprentice Chelsea Palmer
VIRIN: 200911-N-WQ732-1002
Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Mike Gilday sent a message to the fleet asking for a moment of silence on Oct. 12, at 11:18 a.m. to honor the Sailors who died, and who bravely saved their ship after the terrorist attack on the USS Cole (DDG 67) 20 years ago.


Below is the text of his message: 

At 11:18 a.m., local time, on Oct. 12, 2000, the guided-missile destroyer USS Cole (DDG 67) was the target of a suicide attack by terrorists during a routine refueling stop in Yemen’s Aden Harbor. Seventeen U.S. Navy Sailors were killed and 37 were injured in the blast, which tore a 40-by-60 foot hole in the ship’s hull. The crew of Cole fought valiantly for more than 96 hours to save their ship and shipmates. Their actions are the reason why Cole remains a vital part of our Navy today.

As a Navy, it is important, and I am directing that we observe a moment of silence at 11:18 a.m. (local) that day to recognize the twentieth anniversary of this attack. We will pause to remember those who were tragically lost, pay tribute to the heroic actions of the crew, and reflect on our responsibility to carry their proud legacy forward.

Twenty years later, it is important to recognize how these acts of bravery and heroism were nothing short of extraordinary. Immediately following the blast and uncertain of the possibility of further explosions, Cole Sailors courageously ran to the scene and rescued severely injured and trapped shipmates, saving them from further injury and probable death. Well-organized and disciplined despite the chaotic conditions, they prevailed through 96 hours of sustained damage control efforts by dewatering the ship, plugging the inrush of further flooding, shoring ship’s structures, and securing exposed electrical power sources. The example set by the Cole Sailors is clear: a well-trained crew, even after a devastating blow, can rise to the occasion and save their ship.

The 17 Sailors who gave their lives that day are, no doubt, heroes. When their country called, they answered. And, for that, we are eternally grateful. Our responsibility is to honor them by remembering their sacrifices and ensuring they are never forgotten. The most powerful way to honor these sacrifices though, is our Navy’s continued demonstration of resolve in the face of threats to our nation and its citizens.

For Sailors today, you should embrace your responsibility to honor the legacy of the Cole heroes. Their actions epitomized our Navy's fighting spirit, heroism, toughness, selfless sacrifice, and tenacious resolve to never give up. They carried forward our Navy heritage of fighting with Honor, Courage, and Commitment. Using their example as a guide, I am confident our Navy’s proud legacy will live on for generations to come.

Our Navy is second to none. The American people count on you and so do I. Honored to be your CNO.
 


Categories:

USS Cole (DDG 67)
 
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