Obama Honors USS Cole Victims, Vows Continued Vigilance

WASHINGTON, Oct. 12, 2010 — Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma today remem­bered the 17 sailors lost a decade ago dur­ing the attack on the USS Cole by vow­ing to remain vig­i­lant in work­ing with Yemen and oth­er glob­al part­ners to counter the al-Qai­da threat.

Oba­ma said in a White House state­ment that the fall­en Cole sailors “were serv­ing their coun­try and help­ing to main­tain secu­ri­ty in the Gulf region when al-Qai­da launched this out­ra­geous attack” on Oct. 12, 2000. 

“We pay trib­ute on this day to the courage and sac­ri­fice of those who lost their lives in this attack, and to their fam­i­lies,” the pres­i­dent said. “We remain stead­fast in our sup­port for the brave men and women of our armed forces who con­tin­ue to risk their lives around the world to defeat these ter­ror­ists and to keep our nation safe, and we stand with our mil­i­tary fam­i­lies who sac­ri­fice so much to sup­port them.” 

Oba­ma said he will nev­er for­get meet­ing some of the vic­tims’ fam­i­lies in Feb­ru­ary 2009. 

“I am deeply grate­ful to them for their sac­ri­fice, and their efforts to keep the mem­o­ry of this trag­ic event alive in our nation’s con­science,” he said. “The fam­i­lies and loved ones of those we lost are in our hearts and prayers, and the Amer­i­can peo­ple stand with them on this solemn day of remembrance.” 

Al-Qai­da con­tin­ues to use Yemen and oth­er areas around the world as plat­forms to pur­sue a “mur­der­ous agen­da,” the pres­i­dent noted. 

“We con­tin­ue to work close­ly with our Yemeni and oth­er glob­al part­ners to counter the al-Qai­da threat,” he said. “As we do, we will always remem­ber those we lost on the USS Cole, and we will hon­or their lega­cy of self­less ser­vice by advanc­ing the val­ues that they stood for through­out their lives.” 

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs) 

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