ABC News' Sunlen Miller reports:
President Obama today honored the “sacrifice” of seven CIA officers who lost their life in the Khost, Afghanistan suicide bombing late last year, and called for their legacy to be a summons to carry on and win the war.
“There are no words that can ease the ache in your hearts,” Obama said at the memorial service at the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia. “But to their colleagues and all who served with them -- those here today, those still recovering, those watching around the world -- I say: Let their sacrifice be a summons. To carry on their work. To complete this mission. To win this war, and to keep our country safe.”
Family members of the seven CIA officers killed in eastern Afghanistan on December 30th as well as more than a thousand Agency officers, senior officials from the Intelligence Community, the White House and the Pentagon, as well as members of Congress gathered today to pay their respects at the private memorial to their service.
“At the remote outpost, they were bound by a common spirit. They heard their country’s call and answered it. They served in the shadows and took pride in it. They were doing their job and they loved it. They saw the danger and accepted it. They knew that the price of freedom is high and, in an awful instant, they paid that price.”
The President said that while they served in secrecy – their legacy is all around.
“It’s written in the extremists who no longer threaten our country -- because you eliminated them. It’s written in the attacks that never occurred -- because you thwarted them. And it’s written in the Americans, across this country and around the world, who are alive today -- because you saved them.”
Speaking directly to the families of those lost, the president said that it is “against the natural order of life” for parents to lay their children to rest.
“Yet these weeks of solemn tribute have revealed for all to see -- that you raised remarkable sons and daughters. Everything you instilled in them -- the virtues of service and decency and duty -- were on display that December day. That is what you gave them. That is what you gave to America. And our nation will be forever in your debt.”
As is tradition each of the fallen will be represented with a star on the Memorial Wall at the CIA headwaters – honoring employees who have died in the line of service.