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Friends, families mark anniversary of Cole attack
The terrorist attack on the U.S.S. Cole killed 17 sailors and wounded 39.  

ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- Marking the one-year anniversary of the terrorist attack that killed 17 sailors on the USS Cole in Yemen, friends and families of those on the destroyer dedicated a monument to the fallen on Friday.

Military personnel and civilians gathered at the ship's home port in Norfolk, Virginia. According to The Associated Press, the $143,000 10-foot granite memorial overlooks Willoughby Bay and has two bronze plaques listing the names of the 17 dead sailors.

U.S. officials believe Osama bin Laden might be behind the explosion, which left 39 sailors wounded. He is also a suspect in the terrorist attacks of September 11.

U.S.S. Cole relaunched with little fanfare

In the Cole attack, two suicide bombers pulled alongside the vessel during a port call in Aden, Yemen, and detonated explosives that blew a 40-foot hole in the left side of the $1 billion warship.

The 505-foot guided missile destroyer has undergone extensive renovation in Pascagoula, Mississippi, since the October 12, 2000, bombing and is expected to return to Virginia in April.

At the time of the blast, the Cole was in what is known as "Threat Condition Bravo" -- the second highest of four alert levels -- which requires guards on deck to keep small boats away and mount a close watch for possible attacks.

However, sources familiar with a Pentagon report said officials found that almost half the measures required for that level of alert were not carried out.


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