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7 more stars for the CIA's Memorial Wall in Langley: Obama's message to shocked co-workers

December 31, 2009 |  4:32 pm

The Memorial Wall at the CIA headquarters in Langley Virginia

Here's the message the vacationing President Obama sent today to the workforce at the Central Intelligence Agency, as provided by the White House, about yesterday's losses in a suicide bombing in Afghanistan's Khost Province.

(Total United States casualties in Afghanistan since 2001 are 948 of the 1,566 overall coalition losses. American fatalities for 2009 as of this afternoon are 318, more than twice the 155 of 2008).

To the men and women of the CIA:

I write to mark a sad occasion in the history of the CIA and our country. Yesterday, seven Americans in Afghanistan gave their lives in service to their country. Michelle and I have their families, friends and colleagues in our thoughts and prayers.

These brave Americans were part of a long line of patriots who have made great sacrifices for their fellow citizens, and for our way of life. The United States would not be able to

...maintain the freedom and security that we cherish without decades of service from the dedicated men and women of the CIA. You have helped us understand the world as it is, and taken great risks to protect our country. You have served in the shadows, and your sacrifices have sometimes been unknown to your fellow citizens, your friends, and even your families.

In recent years, the CIA has been tested as never before. Since our country was attacked on September 11, 2001, you have served on the frontlines in directly confronting the dangers of the 21st century. Because of your service, plots have been disrupted, American lives have been saved, and our Allies and partners have been more secure. Your triumphs and even your names may be unknown to your fellow Americans, but your service is deeply appreciated. Indeed, I know firsthand the excellent quality of your work because I rely on it every day.

The men and women who gave their lives in Afghanistan did their duty with courage, honor and excellence, and we must draw strength from the example of their sacrifice. They will take their place on the Memorial Wall at Langley alongside so many other heroes who gave their lives on behalf of their country. And they will live on in the hearts of those who loved them, and in the freedom that they gave their lives to defend.

May God bless the memory of those we lost, and may God bless the United States of America.    ###

Related items:

Obama's Afghan speech: 4,582 words and not one was 'victory'

Full text of President Obama's Afghanistan speech

Did you hear the one about Washington lecturing Afghans on corruption?

Photo: Associated Press