Obama Honors USS Cole Victims, Vows Continued Vigilance

American Forces Press Service

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."

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