Wall of Honor
Ordinary People, Extraordinary Times
The Secret Service is a unique institution in that it must be prepared for worst case scenarios at every moment, everyday. But nothing adequately prepares the men and women of law enforcement for the loss of a colleague.
Behind every name on the Secret Service’s Wall of Honor in its Headquarters building is a legacy that lives on. Their stories are the agency’s history, and their dedicated service runs to the core of the Secret Service’s identity.
The Wall of Honor features an inscription of a quote by retired Secret Service Assistant Director Jerry Parr. He said these words at the dedication ceremony for the Wall in December of 2000:
"The Secret Service has a long tradition of excellence, and we are an organizational culture held together by an invisible web of obligations: duty, honor and country. We do not abandon one another. That is why we gather here today, to remember our fallen colleagues. These men and women died on duty. Some were killed in accidents, and some were deliberately murdered. We remember many of them now as they once were. Some were very young, at the beginning of their careers. Some were middle-aged and then they were gone from our midst, and we mourned our loss. There is, sadly, nothing as ruthless as truth and nature. Still, we do not lose hope. We are strengthened by their memory.
Death ends a life, but not a relationship. Those memories, I think, linger in love. These honored dead have returned to the love that created them, and we miss their faces that we’ll see no more. Yet, we know at the deepest level of our being that something of who they were, and are now, endures at a whole new dimension of reality. And our true nature is to trust and embrace both life and death. As Thornton Wilder once wrote, 'There is a land of the living and the land of the dead, and the only bridge is love, the only survivor, the only meaning.'"
Assistant Director Jerry Parr (Ret.)