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On floor 3 of my ship I noticed a large wall display with an Alliance logo and a bunch of names, and some empty name plaques. What are these names? Is this a memorial of people killed by my decisions?

I note Ashley Williams is on the list, and when I started the game I picked her as the one that died in this save. I didn't import an ME 2 file and no one has yet died due to my decisions in game.

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Yes, this is a memorial plaque to the crew members who have been lost.

If you're particularly careless/heartless, the list can get pretty full, apparently (as LessPop_MoreFizz linked in chat):

full memorial plaque

Many names on this list coincide to fallen soldiers whose dog tags you picked up during the Mass Effect 2 Normandy SR-1 crash site assignment.

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The carefree expression on your Shepard really sells it. – Ben Brocka Mar 10 '12 at 2:55
Wait, crew mates only? – Ben Brocka Mar 10 '12 at 2:56
I believe everyone on the that list has been a crew member of the Normandy at some point or another. – Tim Stone Mar 10 '12 at 2:58
Help me out here... From the looks of that picture, it seems his only eligible squad members are James and EDI... How does that even happen!? – Fluttershy Mar 10 '12 at 3:57
@Tristan I imagine you have to really work at it...kill as many people as possible in ME2, then finish off at least Ashley/Kaidan in ME3. – Tim Stone Mar 10 '12 at 4:09

yea, its a bunch of names of crew mates that have died and theres some very recognizable ones like urdnot wrex(ME1) and thane krios(ME2). theres also kaiden alenko which is from ME1, you had the choice to leave either ashley or kaiden to manually defuse a bomb in ME1. also theres charles pressly which was an important person in ME1, he was the navigator for the normandy and died at the beginning of ME2

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depending on either you leave ashley or kaiden, the one left behind will show up on the plaque – ZE1K Sep 2 '13 at 19:36

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