Today I am morning the loss of four American heroes. These heroes worked to uphold the policies of the US government. No, they weren't Marines. No, they weren't Army infantry. They weren't Air Force, Navy or even Coast Guard. They were members of a much smaller group. They were diplomats. Card carrying members of the United States Foreign Service.
Ambassador Christopher Stevens, Information Management Officer Sean Smith, and two other Americans who names have not yet been released pending notification of family were killed in Libya yesterday.
I didn't have the privilege of knowing either of the men, but the Foreign Service is, in many ways, like a small town. If you don't personally know someone, then you know someone who does knows them. Six degrees of separation does not exist in the FS, more like one degree, or at most two. This is especially true in these times of FB, blogs, and twitter. Just days ago I read a post about Ambassador Stevens, at the time I smiled and thought what a wonderful guy to work for. Sean Smith was a husband and father, and through a blog link that passed my way this morning, I learned he was also an avid gamer. It puts a rather personal face on these men I have never met.
My thoughts and prayers today are with the family and friends of the fallen.