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USS Cole Memorial Dedication
EThan.. Photo from the Associated Press

Dedication of the USS Cole
October 12, 2001
by Sharla Chachere' Costelow

 One year after the attack on the USS Cole, I sat with two of my sons surrounded by family and fellow shipmates. This would be the beginning of a new year for us. I found myself realizing that I was leaping a hurdle as this day marked the date of one year since my husband was killed.
 I was in awe of this beautiful ceremony. I realize that some of the family of the Cole victims have felt they wanted nothing to do with this event. However, for me, this was a day where I felt closer to Rich than I have in a long time. You see, it is only my husband's body that rests beneath that soil of the Arlington Cemetery. His soul might be around me at any given place or time. For me, I felt the spirit of my husband more here than I have anywhere. I felt this way because I was among his fellow shipmates, my fellow shipmates. I felt this way because I knew of his love for architectural structures, and I thought of how he would have enjoyed seeing this wonderful work of art. I felt this way because it was next to the waters in which the Cole had sailed out of for the very last time before it would be attacked by terrorists. I felt this way because it has been placed next to the very parking lot in which we last spent time together with two of our sons.. a place where I have pictures of Richard with them. But, mostly, I felt this way because of the honor it brought to my husband and the 16 sailors killed on that day.  
  I dressed Brady (age 6 1/2) and Ethan (age 5) in sailor suits so they could be "like their dad."  They enjoyed putting on those sailor suits and pretending to be like him. I thought of how proud Richard would be to be watching them standing... saluting him like they did. I imagine that his smile would have been one of the biggest I have ever seen. His boys were the most important thing in the world to him.  Several cameras took pictures of the boys in front of the monument. I hope to someday see those pictures and add them to their scrapbooks.
 It disappointed me that most of the media seemed to have forgotten this event that was shadowed by the Anthrax scare. I am disappointed that the media helps Bin Laden to achieve his goal.. to scare America into a panic. I imagine that he must have been smugly smiling as he watched his face shown over and over all across America, while we sent him the message that America cared more about showing his face than those of our sailors he had killed. It's a shame that America did not see instead... the image of two little boys who are the sons of the Chief Petty Officer killed by Bin Laden, saluting their father in front of the memorial. It is for this very reason, that I intend to pursue my writing even further and become a journalist! I want to do my part in reporting the things America NEEDS to see, instead of only reporting the things that most of our media thrives on... fear, panic, gossip, hype, and scandals! It is time that America starts receiving news that are not only things they need to know.. but are things that will encourage them, strengthen them, and move them in their minds and hearts.
For all who watched coverage of the dedication, and all those who have written me letters telling me that Richard and the 16 others will never be forgotten. YOU ARE AMERICA! And I am thankful for each and every one of you.
God bless!
Sharla C. Costelow
ETC Richard Costelow's Widow
USS Cole DDG 67

A Cute Story to Share
by Sharla Chachere' Costelow

Above is a picture of Ethan Jack Costelow (age 5) taken at the Memorial Dedication for his father Cheif Petty Officer Richard Costelow and the other 16 sailors killed on October 12, 2001.

Last night we were sitting on the couch in our family room watching President Bush on TV.  I turned to Ethan and asked him, "Ethan, do you want to be President of the United Sates some day?" He quickly replied, "No! I wanna be a cowboy!"  Little does Ethan know that President Bush, along with President Johnson, has established the fact that a man can be both.

I would like to give a BIG "Thank YOU" to Michelle Malkin for her article that went out all across America. I have received many letters from people all around this great nation showing support through prayers and words of encouragement.
Thank you America!