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Submitted on
February 8, 2004
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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.
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