NORFOLK, Va. - On October 12, 2000, a small boat loaded with explosives blew ahole in the side of USS Cole while the Norfolk-based destroyer wasmaking a refueling stop in Yemen.
"October 12 is always going to be a special day for my familyand everyone else here in Hampton Roads," said Lou Gunn, father ofCheronne Gunn, who lost his life while serving his country onboardUSS Cole.
"Cheronne is always in my hear. Anyone will tell you the wayCheronne's life was molded was just like mine," Lou continued.
It's also the day Lorrie Triplett lost her husband Andrew. "Heloved the Navy, that was his life," said Lorrie.
It's the day the lives of 17 families changed forever after AlQaeda terrorists rammed a boat filled with explosives into theNorfolk-based USS Cole. The attack killed 17 sailors and injured 39others.
Gunn joined other families Monday at the Cole Memorial inNorfolk for a private ceremony. Lorrie Triplett chose to rememberher husband privately with her teenage girls this weekend. Triplettsays she can still picture dropping Andrew off at the ship.
"We had got him a bike and my husband rolled off towards theship as I drove away, I see that memory of him in my rear viewmirror and I'll never forget that," said Triplett.
Gunn says a memorial in his home keeps Cheronne's spirit alive."I think about him all the time. It never goes away," he said.
The anniversary, while painful, is also a way for the familiesto grieve together. Triplett and Gunn are looking forward in a wayto the tenth anniversary; plans are already underway.
"It's just so amazing to be in a room with people who havesuffered like you have suffered and know their pain and then all ofa sudden you come together for one common bond and to be there likea real family," said Gunn.
Norfolk Police are investigating the cause of death for male found unconscious on the beach.
A Freedom of Information Act response from the Norfolk Police Department reveals more details about the attack of a woman at the Ross department store at Military Circle last week.
Beach Events is reviewing policies and procedures after a float caught fire during the TowneBank Holiday Parade Saturday night.