NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) - This week marks the 10th anniversary of the bombing of the USS Cole and one Norfolk family has created a unique memorial to the fallen sailors in the front yard of their home.
The memorial has 17 tombstones, one for each of the fallen sailors. Each marker has the sailor's name, the date they were born and the date they were killed, October 12, 2000.
Denise Bryant, the creator of the memorial, will never forget that day, "I was actually sitting down watching TV and there was a newsflash across the TV in regards to the Cole bombing. My heart dropped," she told WAVY.com.
At first Bryant's niece, Shianne, did not understand why her Aunt was taking the time to make such a public display to remember the fallen sailors. She was only six years old at the time of the attack.
As she worked with her aunt creating the memorial she began to understand why it was so important. "It represents how we're one of the lucky countries and we're free and we can do whatever we want, say whatever we want, and these people fought for this so we could go about our lives and it's pretty courageous that someone would do that for us," she said.
The men and women that serve on the Cole today are continuing that fight, thanks in part to the work of Denise's husband, who was one of those who helped mend the ship after the attack.
"We did not forget. I did not forget. My family did not forget. We are all here for them," said Bryant.
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