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CIA honors eight fallen officers, three of them smokejumpers, in annual memorial ceremony

by Melissa Quinn-Washington Examiner |

The CIA added eight stars to its Memorial Wall in a ceremony Monday, honoring eight people who died in the line of duty over the last year.

"There are now 125 stars on our Memorial Wall, each representing a life that is dear to us, and will be for all time," CIA Director Mike Pompeo said. "We remain forever devoted to them, as they were to us. And we will strive to make them proud of them, as we are of them."

Three stars were added in tribute to David W. Bevan, Darrell A. Eubanks and John S. Lewis, who arrived at the CIA by way of the Smokejumpers.

Smokejumpers are firefighters who parachute into remote areas to fight wildfires. The three men died when their plane crashed in 1961 during a mission in Laos.

The CIA also honored Mark S. Rausenberger with a fourth star. Rausenberger was a CIA officer for 18 years and died while serving overseas. The details of his death are classified.

The names of the other four people being honored are classified.

During the ceremony, Pompeo gave the families of the fallen officers a marble replica of their family member's star.

In 1974, the agency dedicated the Memorial Wall with 31 stars to pay tribute to the individuals who had died since the CIA was founded in 1947. The CIA's memorial ceremony began in 1987, and this year marks the 30th annual ceremony.