In annual memorial ceremony, CIA honors its fallen heroes

Memorial Wall at CIA headquarters
Memorial Wall at
CIA headquarters

The Central Intelligence Agency paid tribute on May 19 to the 111 women and men of the Agency workforce who have died in the line of duty — courageous Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country.

According to a notice posted on the Agency’s Web site, this year marks the 40th anniversary of CIA’s Memorial Wall, and of the original 31 stars that were engraved in the summer of 1974 to honor those who had fallen since the CIA’s founding in 1947.

Standing before the Memorial Wall in the lobby of CIA headquarters, Director John Brennan said, “Each of the 111 stars carved into the marble wall behind me is an expression of love, respect, and eternal devotion. Together, they silently testify to nearly seven decades of valor and dedication, virtue and sacrifice, all on behalf of our Republic.”

Director Brennan emphasized that the constellation of stars is a powerful reminder that freedom comes at a very dear cost.

Director Brennan spoke at length about the extraordinary lives of the four individuals whose stars were added to the Memorial Wall this spring. “We share your pride in them and what they achieved,” he told the assembled family members, friends, and colleagues. “We too know the measure of their strong character and generous spirit, and feel deeply privileged and grateful to have served with such selfless patriots.”

During the ceremony, Director Brennan presented the families of the four with a marble replica of their loved one’s star.

CIA’s Memorial Ceremony is attended each spring by hundreds of employees, retirees and family members of those who died in service with CIA.