Sunday, April 7, 2013


I try not to write about work on this blog, but I just can't write about happy things (like last week's trip) without acknowledging the heartbreak that is the loss of a colleague.  FSO Anne Smedinghoff, 25, died yesterday in an IED attack in Afghanistan.  She was on her way to deliver books to schoolchildren.  She was killed alongside U.S. service members, a U.S. DOD civilian, and Afghan civilians.  Four other State Department colleagues were wounded in the attack. 

My heart goes out to their families and friends and colleagues.  I am once again only one degree of separation from this young woman, and my heart breaks as I read friends' tributes to her on Facebook.  And Secretary of State Kerry's tribute to her, particularly poignant as she was his control officer just last week.  And, most of all, her parents' tribute to her. 

I don't believe I ever met Anne, but she was my contemporary in the FS.  We're only a few A-100s apart.  This piece expresses much of what I've been thinking today very well.

Anne, thank you for your service.  Your memory will live on - we'll make sure of it - and your legacy will be about so much more than your tragic death.  It will be about service and optimism and peace and change.  It will be about you.