The Book of Honor is a book I recommend to all Americans. It was written well before the events of September 11th 2001, yet the stories of those who stepped up to serve the nation on the darker side of U.S. intelligence should be honored by us all. If you have read my novels you will remember the chapters that pay homage to the those who have given the last full measure of devotion to the nation, their sacrifice acknowledged with a star carved into the white marble of a wall in the CIA headquarters building in Langley, Virginia. Encased in one-inch thick glass and built into the memorial wall is a book with the names of those CIA operatives who have given their lives in service to the nation. It is called The Book of Honor. Engraved above the stars are these words: “IN HONOR OF THOSE MEMBERS OF THE CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES IN THE SERVICE OF THE COUNTRY.” It remains one of the most impactful books on my journey.
I stood in front of that wall shortly after the invasion of Iraq and would find myself attached to a CIA covert action unit in Baghdad in 2006. I now know more than a few names in the Book of Honor. On the south wall, across from the stars of the fallen are the words from John 8:32, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” Perhaps one day the stories attached to the names I know that are only represented by a star, a year of death and an asterisk, will be told. At some point the classifications attached to their deaths will be removed and their stories will inspire another generation to step up in service of this great nation.