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'Not a death in vain': Kerry to meet parents of US diplomat killed by Afghan car bomb

Smedinghoff family via Reuters

Anne Smedinghoff, a 25-year-old diplomat from River Forest, Illinois, was killed along with four other Americans in a car bomb blast in Afghanistan on April 6.

Secretary of State John Kerry was due on Monday to meet the parents of Anne Smedinghoff, the American diplomat killed in a car bombing in Afghanistan earlier this month.

Kerry was scheduled to meet them in Chicago after flying back from Japan following a six-nation tour in Asia dominated by the North Korean crisis.

Smedinghoff, 25, was on her way to deliver books to a school in Qalat, Zabul province, when she and four other Americans were killed by a car bomb on April 6. An American civilian was also killed in a separate attack on the same day.

Anne Smedinghoff, 25, was killed Saturday when a suicide car bomber blew up their convoy along with four other Americans. Although she recognized the dangers and risks in Afghanistan, her family and friends said she still loved the job. NBC's Stephanie Gosk reports.

Kerry, speaking in Tokyo, said that everyone he had met with in recent days in the State Department “feels this enormously.”

“It's all the promise of a young person with all of the idealism and energy, enthusiasm suddenly snuffed out in the quest of high ideals and great values,” he said. 

“I think that … is not a death in vain. It's a loss. It's a horrible loss. It's unfathomable as a parent,” he said. “But it's a great contribution and sacrifice for our country. And it is in the highest spirit of tradition and service of the State Department and the Foreign Service, and indeed of America, in our efforts to try to help other people be able to share in the blessings of life that we experience every day.”

“So I think that people should celebrate her life and really show their respect for what she was trying to do,” he added. “She inspired a lot of people and even in her loss she's an inspiration.”

Kerry met Smedinghoff, whose business card read "Assistant Information Officer," several weeks ago when she worked as his control officer during his recent trip to Afghanistan.

Smedinghoff previously served in Venezuela.

In an email to the Washington Post, Smedinghoff's parents said their daughter "was always looking for opportunities to reach out and help to make a difference in the lives of those living in a country ravaged by war."

They added: "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."

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