New Building Dedicated To USS Cole Sailor - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

01/28/05

New Building Dedicated To USS Cole Sailor

"We come on this day not only to dedicate a building to the purpose of freedom and democracy, but we come to remember one who gave his life in defense of these very noble ideals," Lt. Garry R. Thornton, Jr. says.

With those words, family and friends of the late Lt.J.G. Andrew Triplett unveiled a plaque. It will hang on the front wall of the newest building at Naval Station Pascagoula.

"It turns sadness into joy. Oh, this is the most wonderful thing in my life right now," Triplett's mother Savannah says.

For Triplett's family, his death four years ago aboard the USS Cole was a nightmare they will never forget.

"It took me a while to really realize," Savannah Triplett says.

"It was like he was here one day and then he was gone," Triplett's widow Lorrie says.

Sailor Aaron Morgan knows that loss too. He was serving on the Cole with Lt. J.G. Triplett and the 16 others who died when terrorists attacked.

"All of a sudden there was this loud thud. The ship rocked then went back into the water,"Aaron Morgan says.

At this dedication service, family and friends had a chance to hear how Andrew Triplett's legacy will live on.

"From then forward, any sailor who walks through the doors of our fleet operations building will be walking in the shadow of L.T.J.G. Andrew Triplett," Naval Station Pascagoula's Commanding Officer Terry Rea says.

"He would be like, 'This is too much'," Lorrie Triplett says. "He was a dedicated sailor. Yes, he was very dedicated."

And that dedication will never be forgotten.

By Jaimee Goad

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