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Commemorative Service to be Held in Norfolk for U.S.S. Cole VictimsAired October 13, 2000 - 2:05 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: To Norfolk, Virginia now, a major port city for the United States Navy. Thousands of sailors and dozens of ships are based there. One of them, the U.S.S. Cole.
And CNN's Mark Potter has the latest from Norfolk -- Mark.
MARK POTTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Lou, this afternoon Navy officials have been meeting with family members trying to keep them up to speed on the latest developments involving their loved ones.
The Navy is also providing support for the family members -- grief counselors, chaplains, child care, anything like that that can make this tragedy just a little bit easier for these families. And the support for the families is not only coming from the Navy base itself, it's also coming from Norfolk and the neighboring communities. Their residents have been offering their sympathies and their support.
Flags in Norfolk today were flying at half staff. Residents were offering food and free hotel rooms for visiting families. And at a news conference today, Admiral Robert Natter, who is the commander in chief of the U.S. Atlantic fleet said this outpouring of support at this tough time is very much appreciated.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ADM. ROBERT NATTER, U.S. NAVY: First and foremost I'd like to thank the leadership and the citizens of the Tidewater area, Norfolk, Oceana, Virginia Beach for the outpouring of support for the entire Navy family here. It's very much appreciated.
We are going to go forward with a memorial service and a commemoration statute tomorrow with the full support of the officials here. And we hope that that's an appropriate commemoration for these brave sailors on the Cole.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
POTTER: A little bit noisy right here, we're in the flight path. We'll go on to say, now that it's quieted down a bit, this is the 225th birthday day of the U.S. Navy and the plan was made a long time ago to celebrate, to begin the celebrations here in Norfolk with an event known as Fleet Week. That's often celebrated in other port cities around the country. It's put on by the local communities to show their support for the Navy.
The plans for Fleet Week here continue, although we're told now, of course, that they -- the events will take on a much more somber tone. The security at the base, you can see the gate behind me here, is much tighter than it was because of the events involving the U.S.S. Cole. One of the Fleet Week events scheduled has now been canceled because of that.
Normally during this week the public is allowed to come on this base to tour a number of the ships at dock. Because of the security concerns now, that portion of the week has been canceled. There are going to be some more memorial services beginning with what is expected to be a commemorative moment at a concert here tonight.
This is Mark Potter, reporting live from Norfolk, Virginia.
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