this is the text of the 6th anniversary statement by our president:
President's Statement on Anniversary of USS Cole Attack
Six years ago, on October 12, 2000, al Qaida attacked the USS Cole, a U.S. Navy warship refueling in Aden harbor in Yemen. This terrorist attack killed seventeen sailors and injured many others, leaving the victims' loved ones and our Nation to mourn our collective loss.
On the sixth anniversary of this attack, we pause to remember those brave servicemen and women whose lives were cut short by this act of terrorism and to give thanks to the brave crew whose heroic actions saved their ship and fellow shipmates.
With the men we believe to be the key architects of that attack now in custody, this anniversary should serve to renew America's dedication to bring terrorists to justice and our gratitude to those men and women of the U.S. Government serving abroad who take great risks in protecting America.
Six years ago, our Nation was tested by terrorism. Terrorists continue to be an active threat to our Nation, but we are responding resolutely and forcefully. On this solemn anniversary, we rededicate ourselves to the fight against the enemies of humanity, offer our prayers and condolences to the families of the Cole victims, and offer thanks to the men and women of our Navy who protect our country and promote peace and freedom around the world.
...while this is a nicely written (albeit brief) commemoration and the people who died do indeed deserve some form of public remembrance for the role they played in serving our nation and their untimely deaths, i am left with the questions:
why did president bush decide to give this to them on the 6th anniversary, but not on the 5th, 4th, 3rd, 2nd or, even, 1st? why is it suddenly so important that we remember them 6 years after the fact, but not before? the 6th year is an odd one in which to begin, don't you think? that this year is a year of mid-term elections and, at this time, most pundits and polling groups are predicting serious losses for the republicans in the House and Senate shouldn't play a role in bush's newly-found respect for those who died on the U.S.S. Cole, right?
perhaps, bush has been too busy saving our country from terrorist attacks during the previous years.
perhaps, bush wanted to do something for them in previous years, but the budget was too tight in light of the money being spent on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan
perhaps, he was being compassionate and didn't want to bring it up so that bill clinton wouldn't look bad.
perhaps, he just forgot. it happens.
but perhaps, it's one more ruse of his and karl rove's and dick cheney's to keep us scared, to keep us thinking that without him, karl and dick we wouldn't be free right this very second, that if they weren't so hellbent on raising fences and barriers and dropping diplomacy and cooperation we would be living under the veil (as it were).
perhaps, he remembered, because he was told to. because he needs to be out front rallying the voting base. because it may be the only way in which he can be seen as helping his party to retain power even as his approval ratings plummet and more and more soldiers die for they know not what.
perhaps, it's time to vote.