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Navy Dedicates Cole Memorial Oct. 12

By Sgt. 1st Class Kathleen T. Rhem, USA
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 10, 2001 – The Navy will dedicate a memorial at 10:30 a.m. Oct. 12 to the 17 sailors killed a year ago in a terrorist attack on the destroyer USS Cole.

The ceremony at Naval Station Norfolk, Va., will take place on the first anniversary of the attack in Aden, Yemen. The memorial is located near the USS Iowa Memorial in Norfolk. The Navy and Marine Corps Aid Society has been collecting donations for nearly a year to make the memorial possible.

"This memorial is a fitting tribute to the 17 brave men and women in USS Cole who gave their lives in service to our country," Atlantic Fleet Commander Adm. Robert Natter said in a statement. "Their dedication and sacrifice will be appropriately honored and remembered here in Cole's homeport."

The monument consists of three upright granite monoliths, each mounted with a brass plaque, surrounded by 17 granite slabs on the ground and a ring of shrubs.

The three upright monoliths represent the three colors of the American flag. The two outer brass plaques will list the names of the crewmembers lost in the blast, according to information on the Norfolk Naval Base's Internet homepage. The center plaque will memorialize the crew's service and sacrifice. The 17 granite slabs on the ground represent the sailors who died.

The USS Cole is being repaired in Pascagoula, Miss. The ship was quietly relaunched last month and is scheduled to return to Norfolk in April 2002 after final repairs are completed. Navy officials said the memorial dedication ceremony is open to all DoD identification card holders.

An artist's rendering of the memorial can be viewed at http://www.cole.navy.mil/memorial/index.htm.

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Click photo for screen-resolution imageUSS Cole was relaunched last month in Pascagoula, Miss., after repairs on her hull were completed. The destroyer is scheduled to return to Norfolk in April 2002 after final repairs. U.S. Navy Photo.  
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