Local News

Family, friends mourn diplomat killed in Afghanistan

White ribbons and American flags line the block where Anne Smedinghoff grew up in River Forest.  Throughout the day, family friends came to show respect to the family of the 25-year-old Foreign Service worker.

‘She brightened everyone’s life. She had a zest for life.  The world is a much darker place because she is not here.”

Anne SmedinghoffSmedinghoff attended Fenwick High School and John Hopkins University.  Working as a press officer for the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, she was one of five Americans killed in a suicide bomb attack in southern Afghanistan Saturday while helping to deliver books to Afghan children.

Katie Whiting, a family friend, said she was in Caracas and then Kabul.  Every dangerous place she wanted to go there because that’s where the hard work was.  That’s why she wanted to go there.”

“Anne was everything that was right about our foreign service.  She was smart, committed and cared about our country.”  Secretary of State John Kerry made the call to Smedinghoff’s parents, breaking the tragic news personally.

“I had the privilege of meeting her just a few days ago when I was in Afghanistan she was part of my team and she put her life on the line so others could live a better life.”

In a statement, Anne’s parents said:

“We are consoled knowing that she was doing what she loved, and that she was serving her country by helping to make a positive difference in the world. She was such a wonderful woman–strong, intelligent, independent, and loving. Annie, you left us too soon; we love you and we’re going to miss you so much.”

A sentiment captured by those who knew her best– and those who simply knew of the girl down the street who had a bright 300×380-1future ahead of her.

Dr. Anibal Pepper said  “It’s very difficult to accept it but we have the celebrate this life.  She gave her life for her country.”

Michael Shanahan said “My prayers are with the family.. Losing a child at this age, i can’t even fathom what that’s got to be like.”

“She’s just a really beautiful and brave person,” Katie Whiting said. “Anne– the world has really lost a really good person who was going to do great things.”

VIEW & ADD COMMENTS

17 Comments to “Family, friends mourn diplomat killed in Afghanistan”

    FEDUP1967 said:
    April 7, 2013 at 8:34 AM

    You are entitled to your opinion but WOW that was rude – a family lost their daughter… may they find peace in knowing she died doing what she loved and may she rest in peace.

    Anonymous said:
    April 7, 2013 at 8:58 AM

    One that knows, you must be one cold-hearted, negative, and callous individual. A family lost their daughter, and you react like this? People like you should not even be allowed to give an opinion about this. Be tankful you live in America where even scum like you are allowed to have an opinion, no matter how inappropriate it is.

    Anon said:
    April 7, 2013 at 9:32 AM

    Officer Smedinghoff's tragic death highlights the dangers of the work members of the Foreign Service that serve us abroad. We all know and are grateful for the sacrifice of members of the military. No less great a sacrifice nor less important is the work that the diplomatic corps do while abroad, often serving in dangerous locations. The recent deaths in Libya reminded us as well as this latest tragedy. Thank you Foreign Service Officers for the work you do and for being willing to put yourself in harms way to promote peace in the world and protect us back here at home. And thank you to the soldiers and other members of our armed forces who continue to fight and serve abroad through the US's longest war in history. And Anne, thank you for your service and your ultimate sacrifice. My heart goes out to your family. In the swirl of emotions they must be feeling, it is clear from your father's words that pride in you and your choice to serve is among them.

    Ricksinaz said:
    April 7, 2013 at 9:41 AM

    This is for the one that knows! You are absolutely a moron for saying something so horrible ! She was out trying to make things better. Your a moron doing nothing but shooting your mouth off. May SHE REST IN PEACE! My condolences to her family on their loss! Eternal rest on to her oh lord and let perpetual light shine upon her amen! RIP

      One that knows said:
      April 7, 2013 at 9:39 PM

      Hey Rick, why don't you go to that toilet in the middle east and help those savages so I can read about you in a few days. Perhaps you can get blown up setting up meet and greets for Ronald McDonald

    Esco said:
    April 7, 2013 at 10:07 AM

    Anyone in Afghanistan by their choice and understanding the risks are Brave, period.
    She's Braver than me. I'll salvage that from your comment.

    Lori said:
    April 7, 2013 at 10:12 AM

    I was about to write something about how cruel and stupid you are but you've proven that point far better than I could. Just hope karma doesn't bite you in the *** ( oh, wait a minute…I do hope so)

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