USS Cole (DDG 67) hosted a pierside ceremony at Naval Station Norfolk Oct. 12, the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attack on Cole, to honor the Sailors killed and to celebrate the heroism of the ship’s crew.
Many of Cole’s Gold Star Families and “Cole Heroes” attended the ceremony. Adm. Christopher W. Grady, commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command and Cole’s fifth commanding officer, reflected on those killed in the attack, but also recognized the heroic actions of the crew.
“We were extremely proud to take Cole on her returning deployment. And, we were inspired to honor our fallen shipmates, and felt a deep sense of responsibility to live up to the examples set by our predecessors,” said Grady, the commanding officer who led Cole on her first deployment following the attack. “To this day, I am still inspired by my experiences in command when the crew would respond, almost instinctively, to the challenges we faced with, ‘We want to deploy. We have to do the hardest stuff. We have to do this right, because the 17 would have it no other way.’”
Hull Maintenance Technician 2nd Class Kenneth E. Clodfelter, 21, of Mechanicsville, Va.
Chief Electronics Technician Richard Costelow, 35, of Morrisville, Pa.
Mess Management Specialist Seaman Lakeina M. Francis, 19, of Woodleaf, N.C.
Information Systems Technician Seaman Timothy L. Gauna, 21, of Rice, Texas
Signalman Cherone L. Gunn, 22, of Rex, Ga.
Seaman James R. McDaniels, 19, of Norfolk, Va.
Engineman 2nd Class Marc I. Nieto, 24, of Fond du Lac, Wis.
Electronics Warfare Technician 2nd Class Ronald S. Owens, 24, of Vero Beach, Fla.
Seaman Lakiba N. Palmer, 22, of San Diego, Calif.
Engineman Fireman Joshua L. Parlett, 19, of Churchville, Md.
Fireman Patrick H. Roy, 19, of Cornwall-on-Hudson, N.Y.
Electronics Warfare Technician 1st Class Kevin S. Rux, 30, of Portland, N.D.
Mess Management Specialist 3rd Class Ronchester M. Santiago, 22, of Kingsville, Texas
Operations Specialist 2nd Class Timothy L. Saunders, 32, of Ringgold, Va.
Fireman Gary G. Swenchonis, Jr., 26, of Rockport, Texas
Lt. j.g. Andrew Triplett, 31, of Macon, Miss.
Seaman Craig B. Wibberley, 19, of Williamsport, Md.
More information is available online at https://www.surflant.usff.navy.mil/remember67.