KABUL, Afghanistan — One year after a 25-year-old diplomat from the Chicago area was killed in a car bombing in southern Afghanistan,
"She was a truly remarkable young woman and friend," U.S. Ambassador James B. Cunningham said in a solemn ceremony on a sun-splashed afternoon in Kabul.
Smedinghoff, an Afghan American interpreter and three U.S. soldiers were killed, as well as an Afghan doctor. Four other Americans were wounded.
The death of the young diplomat — reportedly the first State Department official to die in Afghanistan since the 1970s — struck a chord with Secretary of State
Smedinghoff joined the State Department after graduating from
Monday's ceremony came two days after Afghans voted in a crucial election to determine a successor to President
"This weekend, watching the extraordinary Afghan election, no one could mistake the incredible contribution the State Department and the United States government have made so that Afghans can control their own future," Cunningham told more than 100 embassy employees who gathered in what was recently renamed "Anne's Courtyard."