Howard closed the door quietly behind them and sealed out the noise from the rest of the office.
"We’ll add chairs later," he said from behind her but Peggy wasn’t paying attention. All she could see was the wall in front of her.
It was the same smooth granite that graced the other walls of the bunker but etched into this one were three tiny replicas of the newly created SHIELD emblem. Underneath each one, it read:
Peggy realized that Howard was holding out a leather bound book. “You have nicer handwriting than I do,” he commented. “I think you know what to write on the first page.”
When she didn’t immediately take it, he looked towards the wall. “We weren’t official then but they’re as much a part of this as we are. We’re asking a lot of the men and women we’ve recruited and the ones we haven’t found yet. If we do this right, the ones who don’t make it won’t be named in history books. Their families won’t be told the real reason why mommy or daddy won’t be coming home. Their secrets will remain hidden.”
"Except to us," she finished.
"Except to us. Think it’s the least we could do."
On the first line of the first page, Peggy wrote:
Barnes, James ‘Bucky’
She looked up at Howard as her pen stalled on the third line. “I miss him so much,” Peggy whispered, giving voice to their own shared pain.
"So do I."
"There will be other names." It wasn’t a question. "Will they be harder or easier to write?"
"Carter, I hope for all of us," Howard sighed, closing the book, "that this never gets easy."
(Quick note: the idea of the memorial wall stolen from the CIA Memorial Wall.)