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Clinton Warns USS Cole Attackers

October 18, 2000

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) _ At a patriotic and somber ceremony honoring the 17 sailors killed ``standing guard for peace″ aboard the USS Cole, President Clinton warned their attackers: ``You will not find a safe harbor for we will find you and justice will prevail.″

Some family members of the sailors who died cried as Clinton spoke.

Some sailors injured in the attack on the USS Cole were taken to the ceremony in their home port by ambulance and listened to the president while lying on mobile hospital beds.

Two sailors injured in the attack in Yemen on Thursday remain in Germany undergoing treatment.

``They all had their own stories and their own dreams,″ said Clinton, who met with victims’ families before the public ceremony. He read each of the 17 sailors’ names.

``In the names and faces of those we lost and mourn, the world sees our nation’s greatest strength,″ Clinton said.

The ceremony was held at the Norfolk Naval Station’s Pier 12. Nearby were two of the Cole’s sister ships, the destroyers USS Ross and USS McFaul, and the aircraft carriers USS Enterprise and Eisenhower.

Clinton, speaking slowly with emotion, was joined at the ceremony by first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and their daughter, Chelsea.

``Today we honor our finest young people, fallen soldiers who rose to freedom’s challenge,″ Clinton said.

Speaking directly to parents, brothers and sisters and loved ones, Clinton said: ``We are all mindful of the limits of our poor words to lift your spirits or warm your hearts.

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