Norfolk, Va. – As today marked the 14th anniversary of the horrific attack on the USS Cole, past and present crew members, family, friends, and civilians gathered at Naval Station Norfolk to remember those fallen heroes.
Miakal Phillips was a Lieutenant Jr. grade on the ship when it was deployed that year. He says he was just about to send an email to his loved ones when the small boat with explosives approached the Cole.
“As soon as I signed in and hit the enter key, that’s when the bomb went off,” said Phillips.
In just a matter of minutes the nation would change.
The USS Cole was refueling in Yemen when two suicide bombers with connections to Al-Qaeda sent blasts through the ships port side.
17 sailors were killed and another 39 were injured.
On the 14th anniversary, the spirit, honor, and courage represented by those 17 shipmates was honored.
All of their names written on a memorial and a floral reef stood in their remembrance.
Monna Gunn was at the remembrance today in honor of her son Cherone Louis Gunn who was also onboard the Cole when it was bombed.
“Before he left he kept saying are you gonna miss me, I said yes but you’ll be back,” she said.
Cherone had only been in service for nine months when he was killed during the attack.
“And he did come back, but not in the shape that we wanted him to,” she added.
14 years later the nation remembers those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.
14 years later 17 fallen heroes honored for their dignity.
And 14 years later still hoping for justice.