Honoring and Remembering Anne T. Smedinghoff

The Smedinghoff family expresses their deep appreciation to friends and community members near and far for the outpouring of love and support they have received since Anne’s passing.

The greater Chicago community’s actions honoring Anne’s life and legacy are a testament to her vivacious and loving nature, and her zeal for helping others.
Anne’s journey will continue on Wednesday, April 17 at St. Luke Catholic Church in River Forest, Illinois.

It is kindly asked that representatives of the media continue to respect the privacy of the Smedinghoff family during this time.

13 Replies to “Honoring and Remembering Anne T. Smedinghoff”

  1. Alex Laskaris

    Dear Mr and Ms Smedinghoff, family members and friends:

    Pease accept my deepest condolences for your loss, and my hopes that messages such as this one will in some small way help you make it through the difficult days ahead.

    As a Foreign Service Officer for 22 years, three of them in Iraq, I think I have an idea of the work Anne was doing in Afghanistan. Having done my share of school book donations, I understand what a wonderfully seditious act it can be teaching a young person, particularly a girl, to read in some parts of the world. Books, and education in general, represented for me an occasionally dim but always stubbornly resilient light in the darkness, a reassertion of our common humanity in times of anger.

    I was a teacher in a Catholic township high school in apartheid-era South Africa before I became a diplomat, another time and place when I was implicated in the sedition of teaching young people to think. Since then, I have always treasured the experience of giving hungry minds their first real book and their first real intellectual challenge. I hope and believe that your precious daughter saw something similar in her work.

    I regret that I did not cross paths with your daughter; I suspect I would have found in Anne a friend and colleague. Warmest regards,

    Alex Laskaris
    Foreign Service Officer
    U.S. Ambassador
    Conakry, Guinea

  2. Nangyalai Attal

    She will be remembered as a true hero of humanity, her cause and love for humanity will be followed, her love for humanity made us awakened and without people like her we would not have the the world we have today. There are hundreds of millions of parents educating their children but very handful of them are making their children “Heroes of Humanity”

  3. Liz Ziehl

    Dear Smedinghoff Family,
    My heart aches for you and the difficult road ahead. There are no words in any language to describe what you are going through, nor words to help you through it.

    The only thing I can say is we will walk with you along this road for as long as you need us.
    We will never forget that Anne was a bright light in the night.
    We will honor Anne and her work for peace in our own lives and teach our children to honor her dream of peace as well.

    We love you all.

  4. Heather

    Dear Mr. & Mrs. Smedinghoff and family,

    I am so sorry for your loss. I cannot even imagine the depth of your pain right now.

    I did not know Anne, but I am scheduled to arrive in Afghanistan in February 2014 to serve in the same position that Anne held, Assistant Information Officer. Anne will remain alive in the memories of those who knew her, and I can assure you that even those of us who did not know her personally will continue to work with her legacy always in mind. Her efforts will not be forgotten.

    My condolences,


  5. John Kolm

    Anne Smedinghoff was at a retreat run by our company for the State Department in March 2010. It was part of the orientation program for new Foreign Service officers, and shortly afterward, Anne headed off for her first posting and a promising career.
    Anne left us while representing the Foreign Service in the highest tradition, taking books to children in a part of the world where denial of education is still used as a political weapon. We are proud to have known her.
    She was taken too soon, but Anne did more good in her short time than most people ever do. We will never forget.
    Vale Anne Smedinghoff
    John Kolm
    CEO, Team Results USA

  6. Terrie Rayburn

    Dear Smedinghoff Family,

    While I did not have the pleasure of knowing Anne, I send my deepest condolences to you all. She was quite obviously a very special young woman with amazing talents she choose to share with the world. Thank you for sharing her with our country.

    As the River Forest community wraps ribbons around trees, please know that these are the “arms” and prayers we have wrapped around your family.

    Praying for peace and healing in your hearts,

    Terrie Rayburn

  7. Erica

    Dear Smedinghoff Family,

    I am so deeply sorry for your loss and I want to thank you and Anne for her service. My heart is with you and yours. While I did not know Anne, I am a part of the Foreign Service community and we are all grieving with you. Today, after everything that happened in Boston, we think again of Anne and all the hard work ahead of us.

    My condolences,
    Erica Green

  8. Dan Bjornson

    Tom and Mary Beth and the rest of the Smedinghoff family,

    I have not thought of Anne often since she graduated from St. Luke’s with Suzy. But since she died, I think of her every day and I cry. She was such a beautiful and gentle girl in grade school. I am very sorry for your loss.

    Dan Bjornson

  9. Emma Ayres

    To the Smedinghoff Family – I met Anne only briefly, at the Afghanistan National Institute of Music in Kabul (I am a radio journalist and travelled to Kabul in January this year to interview Afghan musicians). Anne had come to talk to the students, prior to their U.S tour. She was delightful with the kids, warm and calm and reassuring. She was clearly devoted to her job and was excellent at it.

    My deepest condolences to you all

    Emma Ayres

  10. Mark Isenberg

    As time passes,one can only hope Anne’s friends and colleagues will hold on to their memories just as Anne’s family has to go on without her. The Afghan charities deserve support even as the U.S. role there dwindles. A Florida consulting firm,the Stability Group is trying in villages to continue what Anne started in helping kids learn.They are also trying the improbable of trying to get tribes to respect each other. It is not working well just as it is not working well in Iraq. This is my point as we approach July 4. Anne was just doing her job and then some when she got snared in a convoy ambush. Some of us would like to learn more about the investigation of the ambush because soldiers died that day,too. But,Anne was also a Patriot even if she might have dismissed the term. She served us as we attempted to spread Democracy and Education in a very hostile area. We all assume we will be safe unless it’s Sept.11,2001 or are in the wrong place at the wrong time. I did not know her as I live in Florida but she was among the best of us even at that young age. God Bless her Memory and of course,her Family.

  11. Robert Atuhairwe

    I am Ugandan and didn’t know Anne till i read about her sad demise on yahoo. Felt as if i knew her all that and felt touched by her hopes for the aid of Afghan children but only to pay with her life too soon for no crime at all except being cheerful and outpouring with willingness. What a life to lose! May she R.I.P and peace be with the family.

  12. Daniel Thompson

    Dear Smedinghoff Family, I want to let you know that Anne is not forgotten. I am a Foreign Service HR Specialist who served in Mosul, Kabul, and now Islamabad. I am currently on medevac and am being treated for PTSD in a military program. Within 15 minutes after the attack in Zabul I was on a plane to Kandahar to help with HR issues and interview witnesses and survivors at the hospital. I remember my feelings of helplessness and sorrow. The following day I attended the ramp ceremony and watched as her coffin was loaded on to the plane along with the other soldiers who died. That is the saddest moment and memory in my life. I grieved for you as a family and at the same time all I could think about was my own daughter who was 18 at the time. I’ve seen a lot of bad things and been around a lot of bad things during my assignments, but the one that brings the most tears is Anne’s ramp ceremony. In group therapy and with my counselor it is her story that often comes first. I wish this posting were a little cheerier, but I simply wanted you to know that she is not forgotten and people are still hearing her story. May God grant us all peace.


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