We remember today the 17 U.S. sailors who lost their lives ten years ago as a result of an al-Qa'ida terrorist attack against the USS Cole off the coast of Yemen. These brave men and women were serving their country and helping to maintain security in the Gulf region when al-Qa'ida launched this outrageous attack.
We pay tribute on this day to the courage and sacrifice of those who lost their lives in this attack, and to their families. 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.
I will never forget meeting with some of the families of the victims of this bombing 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. 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-Qa'ida continues to use Yemen, as well as other places around the world, as platforms from which to pursue its murderous agenda, and we continue to work closely with our Yemeni and other global partners to counter the al-Qa'ida threat. 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.