It's been almost three years since the terrorist bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen. Last spring, the ship was restored and set sail with renewed vitality.
As with the Cole, the library at Naval Air Station Meridian has also received some needed repairs and now reopened with a renewed purpose and name.
Monday, the library was dedicated in honor of Lieutenant Junior Grade Andrew Triplett from Shuqualak in Noxubee County. Triplett was one of 17 sailors killed in the blast. Although it's been said that time heals all wounds, family members say it's still not easy.
"Put yourself in my position for five minutes," says Triplett's father, ReDonald. "We're learning to pick up the pieces day by day, but it's just hard when all of your children are there but him."
Others who knew "Drew" or "Trip" as he was affectionately known, also were in attendance to reflect on his life.
"The man was a gentle giant," says Naval CWO3 Marshall Harris. "The man, he didn't care what you looked like or where you were from. The guy was honest. I couldn't ask for a better guy or person."
"It's getting easier," says Triplett's mother, Savannah. "But we'll never forget! Never forget!"
"From this day forward," says Commander Patrick Jeck from NAS Meridian, "all of the patrons of this library will be able to read about the accomplishments of a true American hero."
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