Thursday, May 01, 2008

Foreign Affairs Day, May 2

And speaking of the dangers diplomats face in the service of our country, tomorrow is Foreign Affairs Day. Thanks to Diplopundit for this piece:

Foreign Affairs Day Tomorrow

Here is something that came out from AFSA: The AFSA Memorial Plaque Ceremony will be held on Friday, May 2 at 10:25 a.m., in the C St. lobby of the State Department in front of the west plaque.

The ceremony takes place during Foreign Affairs Day to honor those Foreign Service personnel who have lost their lives while serving their country overseas in the line of duty or under heroic or other inspirational circumstances...

Deputy Secretary John Negroponte will preside over the ceremony. He will read a message from President Bush and pay his respects to the families of the two employees whose names we will be adding to the plaque, bringing the total to 227.

Steven (Tom) Stefani was a USDA Forest Service employee on voluntary assignment with the USDA Foreign Agriculture Service in Afghanistan. He was serving on a Provincial Reconstruction Tean as an agricultural advisor when he was killed in an explosion on October 4, 2007 in Ghazni Province. He had recently requested an extension of his service. He was 28 years old, and is survived by his parents and two younger brothers who live in the Auburn, CA area. Many of his colleagues from the PRTs in Afghanistan plan to attend the ceremony.

John Granville was a Democracy and Governance Officer serving with USAID in Sudan. He was killed in Khartoum on January 1, 2008, along with his driver, Abdelrahman Abbas Rahama, when their vehicle was fired upon as they were returning from an official reception. Mr. Granville was a former Peace Corps volunteer in Cameroon who later returned there as a Fullbright Scholar. He served in Kenya prior to his assignment in Sudan. He was 33 years old, and leaves behind his mother and sister, who reside outside Buffalo, NY, as well as many devoted friends and colleagues.

The solemn ceremony offers us an opportunity to remember and honor our fallen colleagues who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country, and to remind us of the extremely dangerous and difficult conditions that our Foreign Service personnel face today in many parts of the world. Our deepest sympathies and heartfelt gratitude go out to all their loved ones.

Deputy Secretary Negroponte will give the keynote address in the Dean Acheson Auditorium to the over 500 retirees who will be attending this year's Foreign Affairs Day, prior to the Plaque Ceremony.

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