”This tragedy, however awful, must not distract us from our search for peace in Lebanon and elsewhere. Your devotion to duty is known to all of us. Please let everyone know we will never give in to this cowardly type of incident. I am determined now more than ever that we do everything that is necessary to make Lebanon a free and safe country again.”
Ronald Reagan — April 20 1983
“The department identified these six Americans as missing and presumed dead: Phyllis Faraci, 44, an administrative specialist in the Beirut embassy since 1982 and a former administrative aide in United States Embassies in South Vietnam and Kuwait.”
NYT — April 21 1983
The Memorial Wall is a memorial at the Central Intelligence Agency headquarters in Langley, Virginia. It honors CIA employees who died in the line of service. There are 117 stars carved into the white Alabama marble wall. [WIKIPEDIA]. Eleven represent women. Follow us on Twitter: @Intel_Today
“IN HONOR OF THOSE MEMBERS OF THE CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES IN THE SERVICE OF THEIR COUNTRY”
“We gather here today in recognition of Women’s History Month. At this time, it seems only fitting that we remember our own.We honor today four of our women who made that supreme sacrifice: Barbara A. Robbins, Phyllis Nancy Faraci, Monique N. Lewis, and Deborah Marie Hixon.”
Tribute to Women Who Have Died (1989)
“They devoted their hearts and minds to a mission unlike any other, at an agency unlike any other, serving on the world’s most dangerous frontiers to defend our people, defeat our adversaries, and advance our freedoms. Their words and deeds will inspire us forever, and their service and sacrifice will never be forgotten.”
CIA Director David Petraeus (2012 Annual Memorial Ceremony )
Ms. Phyllis (Nancy) Faraci was one of 63 victims of the bombing of the American Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, which took place on April 18, 1983. At approximately 1:05 PM, a truck loaded with nearly 2,000 pounds of explosives careened through the driveway of the American embassy and crashed into the building.
A massive explosion ripped through all seven levels of the embassy, sending debris flying hundreds of feet into the air and causing the burning building to collapse on itself. In addition to those who lost their lives, at least 120 people were injured. At the time, it was the deadliest attack on an American diplomatic mission since World War II.
Ms. Nancy Faraci was born in Monessen, Pennsylvania in 1939. After attending Douglas Business School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Ms. Faraci took up a position at the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.
The CIA spoke highly of Ms. Faraci’s professional accomplishments, describing her as an “intensely devoted officer.” She was posted in a number of locations, including Vietnam and Kuwait, and she volunteered to serve in Beirut. She arrived there in late 1982.
Ms. Faraci was a beloved figure in her extended family, and she was godmother to three young children. As a young woman, she enjoyed tap dancing and ballroom dancing; she also loved to knit, swim, play golf, and bowl.
A friend who knew her from high school described Ms. Faraci as a “bright, friendly, and vivacious girl.” Ms. Faraci had plans to retire after her Beirut posting and to move to Niagara Falls, New York, to live near her extended family. At the time of her death, she was 44 years old.
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PS: Did you know Ms. Phyllis Nancy Faraci? Would you like to share a story? Just let us know.
At the Memorial Ceremony — held at the CIA Headquarters on April 29 1983 — the DCI offered a few remarks. The conclusion reads:
My thoughts at this time go back many centuries ago to some verse carved on the rocks at the pass of Thermopylae North of Athens where a few Greeks in 480 BC valiantly withstood thousands of Persians.The words read:
“Go passerby and to Sparta tell
That we in faithful service fell.”
We remember and honor our own who — “in faithful service fell.”
Director Leon E. Panetta Honors First Agency Officer Killed in Vietnam at (2011) Annual Memorial Ceremony
During the Agency’s annual memorial ceremony on Monday, May 23, (2011) Director Leon E. Panetta paid tribute to the first American woman killed in the Vietnam War.
Women of the CIA — Newsweek
The Mystery of Jane Wallis Burrell: The First CIA Officer To Die in the Agency’s Service — CIA news & Information
Remembering CIA’s Heroes: Leslianne Shedd — CIA Website
Remembering CIA’s Heroes: Barbara A. Robbins — CIA Website
Tribute to Women Who Have Died — STUDIES IN INTELLIGENCE
REAGAN SAYS BLAST WON’T DETER PEACE EFFORTS — NYT 21 April 1983
Memorial Service 1983 — CIA Website