The Central Intelligence Agency added two new stars to its Memorial Wall at the agency’s headquarters in Langley, Va., on Monday, signifying for the first time that two agency officers were killed in the line of duty over the past year.
In a press release, the CIA said it added the two new stars during its annual Memorial Ceremony to remember, honor, and celebrate its fallen personnel. With the new additions on Monday, the CIA Memorial Wall now has 139 stars, each representing an officer who was killed either in the line of duty or who was killed specifically because of their affiliation with the spy agency.
The CIA did not specify the identities of the CIA officers that the new Memorial Wall stars are meant to honor. The agency said the stars honor the memories of agency officers “whose service must remain known to only a select few.”
The inscription on the Memorial Wall reads: “In honor of those members of the Central Intelligence Agency who gave their lives in the service of their country.”
During Monday’s ceremony, CIA Director William “Bill” J. Burns said, “Each year, we gather in this sacred place to mourn and remember. We look upon this Memorial Wall, etched with sacrifice, and honor those Agency officers who gave their lives in the service of our country.”
Burns called the agency’s Memorial Wall “a sacred constellation that inspires us to do more.”
According to the CIA, officers are eligible for recognition on the Memorial Wall if they lost their lives either in a foreign field or the U.S. Eligible officers must have been acting in an “inspirational or heroic character while in the performance of duty; or as the result of an act of terrorism while in the performance of duty; or as an act of premeditated violence targeted against an employee, motivated solely by that employee’s Agency affiliation; or in the performance of duty while serving in areas of hostilities or other exceptionally hazardous conditions where the death is a direct result of such hostilities or hazards.”
According to Black Rifle Coffee Company’s “Coffee or Die” magazine, the names of 37 of the CIA officers honored on the agency’s Memorial Wall remain classified even after their deaths.
The CIA’s memorial ceremony is only open to CIA employees and the family members of fallen officers. During the ceremony, the agency reportedly presented the family members of the fallen officers with marble replicas of their loved ones’ stars.