Secretary of State John Kerry took a moment Sunday to remember Anne Smedinghoff, a 25-year-old diplomat who was killed Saturday in Afghanistan as she was delivering books to schoolchildren.
“Anne was everything that was right about our country,” Kerry said from Istanbul before adding that those responsible for her death were “cowards and terrorists.”
Kerry called Smedinghoff, a native of Chicago, “a selfless idealistic young women who woke up yesterday and set out to bring text books to children.”
Smedinghoff, a three-year veteran of the State Department, was killed along with five other Americans Saturday in an attack at a local school in the Zabul Province of Afghanistan. The attack killed three U.S. servicemembers, an Afghan doctor and an American civilian who worked with the State Department. It was the deadliest day in Afghanistan since Aug. 16.
In a statement released Sunday, Smedinghoff’s parents—Tom and Mary Beth Smedinghoff—said their daughter had volunteered to work in Afghanistan and loved working directly with the people of the country.
“We are consoled knowing that she was doing what she loved,” they said. “And that she was serving her country by helping to make a positive difference in the world.”