CIA Honors its Fallen in Annual Memorial Ceremony (May 23 2022)

“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.”

CIA Director Bill Burns (May 23 2022)

The American flag and the CIA flag on either side of an inscription with 137 stars engraved.
The Memorial Wall is a memorial at the Central Intelligence Agency headquarters in Langley, Virginia. It honors CIA employees who died in the line of service. There are 139 stars carved into the white Alabama marble wall. 

May 26 2022 — On May 23 2022, the Central Intelligence Agency held its annual memorial ceremony to pay tribute to the men and women of the CIA who have died in the line of duty. Two stars were added to the Memorial Wall this year. 

The Memorial Wall now has 139 stars. Before 9/11, the number of stars per year was 78/54 = 1.4. After 9/11, the rate greatly increased. Actually it doubled to 61/21 = 2.9. What can possibly explain this inflation? Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY

RELATED POST: CIA Honors its Fallen in Annual Memorial Ceremony — May 22 2017

RELATED POST: CIA — Memorial Ceremony 2018

RELATED POST: CIA Honors its Fallen in Annual Memorial Ceremony [May 21 2019]

RELATED POST:  CIA Honors its Fallen in Annual Memorial Ceremony (May 21 2019) — [UPDATE : 135 STARS?]

RELATED POST: The CIA Memorial Wall — The First 78 Stars

RELATED POST : CIA Honors its Fallen in Annual Memorial Ceremony (May 25 2021)

RELATED POST : CIA Memorial Wall — A quick note about the 37 classified stars

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A special page  “CIA Book of Honor” has been created. This will allow you to find easily the references to the stars we have already written about. I will try to keep this page up to date.

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The CIA dedicated two new stars on its Memorial Wall, each honoring a CIA officer whose service must remain known only to a select few.

During the ceremony, Director Burns presented the families of the most recently fallen officers with marble replicas of their loved ones’ stars. The Memorial Wall now has 139 stars.

No 2020 Ceremony

Two years ago, I asked Molly Hale if the CIA annual ceremony had been cancelled in 2020? No answer…

To the best of my knowledge, the annual memorial ceremony honoring the men and women of CIA who have died in the line of duty was cancelled in 2020, probably because of the pandemic.

Then, on September 9 2020, the Agency tweeted this message:

“The Memorial Wall features 135 stars to honor officers who gave their lives in service to their country. This month, we will celebrate those lives by highlighting their contributions to CIA’s mission.” [Sep 9, 2020 — 6:00 PM]

“At decisive moments, when our nation’s security was under threat, they stepped forward and put their lives on the line, knowing that few outside our walls would ever realize what they did. I know of no higher form of patriotism, no clearer expression of what it means to serve with dignity and honor.”

CIA Director Bill Burns (May 25 2021)

Zero information about the 2021 stars

Last year, four stars were added to the wall. The names and stories behind these four new stars remain classified.

“Of the 137 stars the wall now holds, 37 remain classified, including the years, locations, and details of the work that led to the deaths.” [CIA]

I will come back to this issue as I am not sure where this number come from. I believe that only 4 of the first 78 stars are still classified.

And I can only count 32 classified stars since 2001, including 4 names known to the media. [Glen A. Doherty, Tyrone S. Woods, Ranya Abdelsayed and Nathan Chapman]

But this only accounts for 36 classified stars

Perhaps one could add the star of Mark S. Rausenberger as the circumstances of his death remain classified.

What do we know?

Obviously (see Timeline below), stars 134 & 135 died prior September 2020.

According to the NYT, a CIA officer was killed in combat in Somalia in November 2020. This officer could be star 136.

The officer — who wasn’t named — was a former member of the Navy’s SEAL Team 6 and belonged to the Special Activities Center, the agency’s paramilitary division, the New York Times reported .

Since the identity of the 4 new stars was not revealed, it is however very likely that they died in recent years.

Michael Goodboe was a former Navy SEAL who later worked for the CIA’s paramilitary unit. Goodboe died in a terrorist attack in Somalia in November 2020.

Quick comment

Prior to September 11 2001, 78 stars were chiseled into the CIA marble Memorial wall. Today, the number of stars had grown to 139.

Before 9/11, the number of stars per year was 78/54 = 1.4. After 9/11, the rate greatly increased. Actually it doubled to 61/21 = 2.9. What can possibly explain this inflation?

“This year (2021) marks the beginning of a somber chapter in the legacy of the Memorial Wall. The Agency carved new stars for the first time above the inscription.”

TIMELINE

July 1974 — The Memorial Wall is created; 31 stars chiseled into the marble.

1987 —  First Memorial Ceremony is held with Deputy Director Robert M. Gates presiding;  number of stars on the wall has grown to 50.

1997 — 70 stars, 29 of which had names

2002 — 79 stars

2004 — 83  stars

2009 — 90  stars

2013 — 107  stars

2014 — 111  stars

2016 — 117  stars

May 2017 — 8 new stars; 125 stars chiseled into the wall

May 2018 — 4 new stars; 129 stars

May 2019 — 4 new stars; 133 stars

September 2020 — ??? 2 new stars; 135 stars ???

May 25 2021 — 4 new stars; 137 stars

May 23 2022 — 2 new stars; 139 stars

REFERENCES

CIA Honors Its Fallen at Annual Memorial Ceremony (May 25 2021) — CIA Website

Star 136 — Twitter : https://twitter.com/vcdgf555/status/1331861995876859905

CIA Honors Fallen Officers in Annual Memorial Ceremony (May 23 2022) — CIA Website

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CIA Honors its Fallen in Annual Memorial Ceremony (May 25 2021)

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