Monday, May 21, 2007
WASHINGTON —The CIA recently added four stars to the Memorial Wall at its headquarters and honored the fallen officers those stars represent during a ceremony Monday.
The wall pays tribute to the agency personnel and contractors _ now totaling 87 _ who died while performing national security missions.
Those remembered on Monday include Rachel Dean of Stanardsville, Va., who joined the agency in January 2005. She was killed in September in a car accident in Kazakhstan.
Two Cold War communications officers _ James McGrath of Middletown, Conn., and Stephen Kasarda Jr. of McKees Rocks, Pa. _ were honored a half-century after their deaths.
McGrath died in January 1957 while servicing a high-power transmitter in Germany. Kasarda was killed in May 1960 while in Southeast Asia, supporting a CIA air supply mission to Tibet. The CIA said both deaths were accidental.
According to a CIA statement, dozens of retired CIA communications officers who were instrumental in researching their cases attended the ceremony.
The identity of the fourth officer _ like 32 others on the wall _ remains classified.
Speaking to the hundreds of employees and family members gathered for the annual event, CIA Director Michael Hayden said the constellation of stars is more than a memorial. "Each star holds memories of a brave intelligence officer whose example we follow, a treasured colleague whose wisdom we keep, or a lost friend whose laughter we miss," he said.
The understated memorial in the agency's entrance includes the 2 1/4-inch stars, flanked by an American and a CIA flag. A book just below the stars names the 54 officers who have been publicly identified.
Above the stars reads an inscription: "In honor of those members of the Central Intelligence Agency who gave their lives in the service of their country."
On the Net:
Take the CIA's virtual tour, which includes the Memorial Wall: https://www.cia.gov/about-cia/virtual-tour/virtual-tour-flash/index.html
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