Each star on the Memorial Wall at the CIA’s headquarters in Langley, Virginia, represents one agent or employee killed in the line of duty. On Monday, two more stars were added to the wall during an annual memorial ceremony, with the identities of those they represent remaining classified and forever unknown. There are now 139 engraved stars, 39 of which are classified. In a statement released by the CIA, the two stars represent “exceptional officers whose legacies will live on and whose service must remain known to only a select few.”
While speaking at the memorial, CIA Director William 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,’ further calling the stars on the wall “a sacred constellation that inspires us to do more.”
According to the CIA, “Inclusion on the Memorial Wall is awarded posthumously to employees who lose their lives while serving their country in the field of intelligence. Death may occur in the foreign field or in the United States. Death must be of 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.”
Last year, four stars were added to the wall, however, all of the names remain classified. It is believed that one of the stars belongs to CIA case officer and former Navy SEAL Michael Goodboe, who was reportedly mortally wounded back in 2020 following an al-Shabaab IED attack in Mogadishu, Somalia.