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.
One more star was added on Tuesday to honor Dr. Jon Evans, bringing the total number of stars to 140.
Jon Price Evans was born and raised in Pennsylvania, where he graduated from Temple University Medical School in 1942 and went on to serve as an Army physician during World War II, Korea and Vietnam. During his military career, he also served as a medical officer for the CIA, where he worked alongside the Iranian and Korean military. In 1967 he retired from the Army as a Colonel and began his work for the State Department as their Southeast Asia medical officer. On January 5, 1969, Evans was killed while on orders, along with three others, when his chartered DC-3 airliner suffered mechanical problems and crashed in northern Thailand while en route to Vientiane, Laos. His wife Dorothea was also onboard and survived the crash. He was buried at the Arlington National Cemetery.
In a statement to those who attended the ceremony, CIA Director William Burns said, “We stand before these 140 stars not only with gratitude but with reverence for our fallen heroes. We’ll never forget their sacrifice. We’ll never forget their devotion.”
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.”
Of the 140 stars, 39 remain classified and forever unknown.