Memorial Marker akarsu

Published on February 4th, 2013 | by Editor


Remember Him like You Remember Us

The world for those of us in the Foreign Service is incredibly small. In all of those places where you hear of awful things happening, we have family. Foreign Service family.

We lost another member of our family yesterday in a bombing at our embassy in Ankara, Turkey. Like me, my wife, and all of our colleagues, he was serving our country. He was serving America.

But he wasn’t American. He was Turkish, a local guard at our embassy. And this is what I find frustrating. So much attention was paid to when we lost Ambassador Chris Stevens, and rightly so, though often for the wrong reasons. But we regularly lose members of our Foreign Service family in attacks like these. Often, those are members of our local staffs and local guard forces. And Americans quickly move on to the next thing because no American was killed.

But these people are serving you too. They are working to keep you safe too. Often at greater risk to themselves than we diplomats are because of local attitudes regarding working for America. And I can tell you that I am closer to my local staff than I am to many of the Americans I have served with. They are my family.

I did not know the guard who was killed in Ankara, but I mourn him. And I want you to remember him. So here he is.


An anonymous Foreign Service officer

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