It’s been 10 years today since terrorist struck the U.S.S. Cole. That day, 17 sailors died, and 39 were injured. Al-Qaida claimed responsibility for ramming a small boat filled with explosives into the side of the destroyer.
Before that attack, I’d never heard of al-Qaida. Had it not been for Sept. 11, that name likely would’ve slipped through the Swiss cheese of my short-term memory. But it’s now a part of my trusted AP Stylebook and our popular conscience. We all know it.
But here’s something else we all need to know: The U.S.S. Cole was recommissioned less than two years after that attack. It’s back in business. Today, a special ceremony commemorated the anniversary. On board is a permanent memorial: the Hall of Heroes is marked with 17 gold stars that lead to the site of the attack.
That hall and the ship itself are poignant reminders of how we persevere.
We don’t forget. We honor sacrifice, and we move forward.