Among the six Americans killed in Afghanistan yesterday was 25-year-old foreign service officer Anne Smedinghoff, reports CNN, the first US diplomat to be killed since Chris Stevens died in September. John Kerry led the mourning for her today, saluting the "vivacious, smart" up-and-comer who assisted him during a visit just two weeks ago as "a selfless, idealistic woman who woke up yesterday morning and set out to bring textbooks to school children, to bring them knowledge." Smedinghoff died when her convoy was bombed in Zabul province.
"I wish everyone in our country could see first-hand the devotion, loyalty, and amazingly hard and hazardous work our diplomats do on the front lines in the world's most dangerous places," said an emotional Kerry. Smedinghoff hailed from the Chicago area, notes the AP, and was a three-year veteran of the foreign service who had previously served in Venezuela. “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," her parents told the Washington Post. “The world lost a truly beautiful soul today.”