I didn’t know Anne Smedinghoff, but I could have. She could have been any one of my coworkers. She could have been me.

I had another blog post about my trip to Monterrey all written up and ready to post, but it seems crass to skip over something that illustrates one of the worst, scariest parts of the Foreign Service to post about one of the best, most fun parts. This job has its perks, and I am happy to be able to get to benefit from them, but there are sacrifices involved in this job. Huge sacrifices. We sacrifice being close to our families, attending birthdays, weddings, and graduations. We sacrifice being close to our friends and being involved in their everyday lives. We sacrifice being able to stay together with our own spouses, partners, and children. And sometimes we sacrifice our lives.

Anne’s death should not be skipped over. To allow her to become another war statistic betrays what we stand for. She is not a statistic. She was a friend. She was a daughter. She was a diplomat. She was a patriot. And she died trying to deliver books to children in a foreign land because that’s what she believed in. Because she wanted to make the world a better place. Because she loved her country.

Rest in peace, Anne. Rest in peace.