Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving in the armed services. Among them were Soldiers, Sailors, and Airmen of the security services who manned the front line of the Cold War. Assigned to isolated foreign outposts, naval vessels, or flying along the Iron Curtain, they collected signals intelligence and gave an extra layer of early warning. All too many died by accident or enemy action. The first American combat death in Vietnam was a soldier of the Army Security Agency.
The National Cryptologic Memorial at Ft. Meade, Maryland, stands to honor those "silent warriors" who risked, and often lost, their lives performing airborne signals intelligence missions during the Cold War. The memorial lists the names of 176 Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine, and civilian cryptologists who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.
On this day we should take a moment to remember those who died keeping the United States secure and honor their courage to carry out their mission at such a dear price.