CIA Holds Annual Memorial Ceremony to Honor Fallen Colleagues

Yesterday the Central Intelligence Agency in an annual memorial ceremony paid tribute to the 107 women and men of the Agency workforce who died in the line of duty—courageous Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to the United States.

Standing before the Memorial Wall in the lobby of CIA headquarters, Director John O. Brennan said: "[these] beloved colleagues will inspire us forever with their unsurpassable devotion to duty and country." He added: "I am truly humbled by the magnitude of what our friends, colleagues, and loved ones achieved for our country, as well as by the tragedies we all must endure. For it is during these ceremonies that we take full measure of CIA's unique and critical contributions to our Nation's security—and of the terrible cost these contributions often entail."

Director Brennan spoke at length about the extraordinary lives and dedication of the heroes whose new stars honor their deep sense of duty to the Agency and to our country. He presented the families with a replica of their loved one's star, carved from marble similar to that of the Memorial Wall, saying that he hoped each star would "forever serve as a source of pride and comfort."

Director Brennan also noted the anniversaries of three tragic events that took Agency lives. Last month marked the 30th anniversary of the bombing of the US Embassy in Beirut—the deadliest day in Agency history. Last January marked the 20th anniversary of the shooting at the Route 123 entrance to the CIA Headquarters compound that killed two agency officers. Finally, this August will mark the 15th anniversary of the attack on the US Embassy in Nairobi.

"Our solemn promise to...all of our brothers and sisters who have fallen in the line of duty—and to you, their families, and to our fellow Americans—is to carry on the difficult, essential tasks we are honored to have been given," Director Brennan stated. Concluding his remarks, he said: "We will meet the challenges with an unshakeable commitment to the laws and principles of this great country, and with boundless faith in the spirit and capacity of our fellow officers—sustained, at all times, by the constant support and affection of those we love."

The memorial ceremony is attended each year by hundreds of employees, retirees, and family members and friends of those who died in service with the CIA