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Eternal Vigil by balaa Eternal Vigil by balaa
On October 12th of 2002, off the coast of Yemen, a small sailboat loaded with explosives slammed into the side of the USS Cole(DDG 67) gouging out a hole in the side of the destroyer and killing 17 American men and women, sailors that served to protect our nation. The ship has since been repaired and those sailors lucky enough to escape only injury have healed. Yet pain remains for those that lost so much that day.

Families lost husbands, fathers, sisters, mothers. Sailors lost friends and gained fear and pain and a realization that this great United States is not safe from unbridled hatred. Since then the tragedies of September the 11th have shadowed the events of October 12th, a warning of what was to come. Yet we are not to forget that these men and women gave their lives to defend out nation, our people, our freedoms.

I set this painting as an eternal vigil, a metaphorical candle that will remain lit for all time.

The names of the fallen are as follows. Each name may be found on the painting above, none have been cropped or dropped:

Electronics Technician First Class Richard Costelow, Morrisville, Pa.

Signalman Seaman Recruit Cheron Ouis Gunn, Rex, Ga.

Seaman James Rodrick McDaniels, Norfolk, Va.

Seaman Recruit Lakiba Nicole Palmer, San Diego, Calif.

Operations Specialist Second Class Timothy Lamont Saunders, Ringold, Va.

Ensign Andrew Triplett, Macon, Miss.

Seaman Apprentice Craig Bryan Wibberley, Williamsport, Md.

Hull Maintenance Technician Third Class Kenneth Eugene Clodfelter, Mechanicsville, Va.

Mess Management Specialist Seaman Lakeina Monique Francis, Woodleaf, N.C.

Information Systems Technician Seaman Timothy Lee Gauna, Rice, Texas

Engineman Second Class Mark Ian Nieto, Fond Du Lac, Wis.

Electronics Warfare Technician Third Class Ronald Scott Owens, Vero Beach, Fla.

Engineman Fireman Joshua Langdon Parlett, Churchville, Md.

Fireman Apprentice Patrick Howard Roy, Cornwall on Hudson, N.Y.

Electronics Warfare Technician Second Class Kevin Shawn Rux, Portland, N.D.

Mess Management Specialist Third Class Ronchester Mananga Santiago, Kingsville, Texas

Fireman Gary Graham Swenchonis, Jr., Rockport, Texas

......LEST WE FORGET......

(The original piece was donated to the USS Cole on the one year memorial of the tragedy. It can now be found in Norfolk Virginia)
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Messenger-Of-Chaos Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Great picture.

One thing, the USS Cole bombing happened in 2000, not 2002.
Beachinmama Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2008
I remember that. Such a beautiful tribute!!
Black--Moth Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2007  Student Traditional Artist
Did you enter this in a patriotic art contest? I do believe I've seen it before. It may have just been someone's ripoff of your pic, but it was a pretty serious contest. I got 3rd statewide. ^^
balaa Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2007  Professional General Artist
YES :D I placed 2nd nationally..that seems like such a very long time ago now.
Black--Moth Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2007  Student Traditional Artist
Heheh, that's what I thought. I really like your description; it's very heartfealt. I've got mine here on DA too. Btw, I like your quote too but, at the risk of sound like a stiff, I think if you eliminated the redundant word "most" it would sound better: "we have pleased our harshest of critics." Just a silly oppinion.
Sablelieger Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2006
Damn! :( I can remember when it happened. Nice work.
Tawnya Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2006  Hobbyist Digital Artist
"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance..." For any peoples who yearn to be free. God bless you for your courage and conviction to state this.
cardowl Featured By Owner May 26, 2006   Writer
That is a wonderful piece! I'm glad you did it. Too many people dis America and forget the good. (These are, sadly, the same people whose butts we have to save over and over again...) Anyway, good pic!!!
amazinggrace Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2005
Bless you :heart: --AG
balaa Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2005  Professional General Artist
rarely do I get a comment for this thank you kindly. It also reminds me I have to get my butt in gear and start work on my sept11th piece.
amazinggrace Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2005
I have friends who were in the Navy then...I was shocked that there wasn't more public outrage over that incident, and that those who died seemed all but forgotten. I was deeply touched by your tribute, and pleased that you were recognized for your generousity :rose: --AG
JezzKitty Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2004  Professional Digital Artist
Whoa, that is gorgeous! :pray:
ChayaA Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2004
Very, very touching! Amazing piece!!!!
niqui Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2004
Sweet :)

Also remember the Bali bombings which were also on October 12, 2002 (coincedence or preplanned?)
balaa Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2004  Professional General Artist
Thank you all. This picture I actually entered in the Veteran's of foreign wars patriotic art contest. I ended up placing 2nd in nation and after that with the help of some good friends was urged to place this piece where it could do some good. It brought tears to my eyes seeing the families of those who lost their children, brothers, sisters, fathers and mothers. I felt so very priveledged to attend the memorial dedication, a moment in my life I shall never forget and always cherish. The color of this piece always bothered me as it just never comes out right when photographed, always too red or too yellow. This is the best version of the picture, scanned from a print made of the piece.
shinigamigirl Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2004
Beautiful and touching. I'm very sad since I've not even heard of this.. Beautiful light effects and atmosphere.
estarial Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2004
I've been hoping to see this piece ever since I was googling artists last year and your name came up with the title of this piece. The composition is perfect and the meaning and mood are obvious. A truly beautiful piece.
Nikori Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2004
beautiful, balaa! amazingly well constructed & painted! luv the texture & the overall feel to the piece! Your words are really reflected in the pic! wonderful work girl!
loish Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2004
it's very moving. the brilliance of the painting of course contributes to the intensity of the message.
NorwayFox Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2004
Oh wow...this is amazingly touching. It looks so real, it's just amazing.
slshimerdla Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2004  Professional Digital Artist
Very touching, indeed. What a wonderful expression to go along with all that sadness... really a very beautifully done painting, and it was absolutely sweet of you to donate such a wonderful piece of art in their memory.
nanook123 Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2004
*crosses arms* YOU NEVER SHOWED ME THIS PIECE!! *prods* what's wrong with you!! This piece is wonderful! I can't see why you are so critical of such things. You have great use of light and the medium of paints and canvas work wonders for you! I could only wish to have such talent. You've again outdone yourself, no matter how old this piece is. *HUG*
ox-of-ice Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2004   Digital Artist
That is VERY touching <3
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Submitted on
February 8, 2004
Image Size
96.5 KB


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