Hundreds gathered Tuesday in Oak Park to remember an American diplomat killed in the line of duty.
Anne Smedinghoff of River Forest was killed 10 days ago by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan. She was the first U.S. diplomat to die on the job since last year's Benghazi, Libya, attack.
Smedinghoff's visitation was held at the Drechsler, Brown & Williams Funeral Home, at 203 S. Marion St., in Oak Park. Her funeral will be held at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at St. Luke Church, 528 Lathrop Ave., in River Forest.
Secretary of State John Kerry took a detour to Chicago Monday to meet privately with Smedinghoff's family. Kerry said Smeddinghoff was "full of ideals and full of hope," and her parents said they took comfort in the outpouring of support.
"It was a very personal visit and for us very comforting and consoling," Smedinghoff's father, Tom, said after the meeting. "He again expressed his personal condolences to us for the loss of Anne and talked quite a bit about Anne's work and service."
Last week Smedinghoff's Fenwick High School alma mater held a special mass in her honor.
"For one so young, she seemed so focused and determined to unravel the big problems," said Smedinghoff's AP Spanish teacher, Irene Drago, who spoke of her quiet intelligence and special gift for foreign language.
"Teachers are supposed to inspire students," Drago said. "But most teachers quickly realize the reverse is often true. Anne inspired me."