On Oct. 12, 2000, the USS Cole was docked at a port in Yemen taking on fuel when she was attacked by suicide bombers in a small boat. Seventeen sailors were killed in that attack and 39 were injured. We recently celebrated the 20th anniversary of that attack.
This attack took place almost a year before the 9/11 attacks in New York, Washington, D.C, and Pennsylvania. Many of those men and women who were killed were in their racks sleeping. Most of us have no clue of the countless acts of bravery that took place on that day by fellow crewmen, both men and women, in the many attempts to get to the wounded and the dead in the section amidship where the damage was most severe.
Countless other acts of valor were done by shipmates in their effort to fight the fires and keep the ship from sinking.
This aerial view video was taken Oct. 12, 2020, over the USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG-81) a sister ship of the USS Cole, as she fired a solemn 21-gun salute in honor of the 17 sailors killed that day.
As you watch this video, be silent and listen as each shot is fired from the Mark 45, 5-inch gun, watch the smoke rise, and raise up a prayer for those sailors who gave their lives that day in service to the nation.
The Veterans Site honors the fallen, the wounded and the entire USS Cole crew on this 20th anniversary of that dark day. We will never forget. We wish you all, “Fair Winds and Following Seas.”
Dan Doyle is a husband, father, grandfather, Vietnam veteran, and retired professor of Humanities at Seattle University. He taught 13 years at the high school level and 22 years at the university level. He spends his time now babysitting his granddaughter. He is a poet and a blogger as well. Dan holds an AA degree in English Literature, a BA in Comparative Literature, and an MA in Theology, and writes regularly for The Veterans Site Blog.