Letters from London
Killing for Jesus

US diplomat killed in Haiti

From the Pasadena Star News

 State-Department-seal AZUSA - The first American reported killed by the earthquake in Haiti was a foreign service officer from Temple City who was crushed when her home collapsed.

Victoria J. DeLong, 57, died Tuesday, said State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley. DeLong, a 27-year diplomat and native of Temple City, was a cultural affairs officer and had been stationed at the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince since February.

Family members on Friday released a brief statement.

"Victoria cared deeply for her family and friends. She was a wonderful sister, friend, and humanitarian; she was cheerful and full of life in all her endeavors and accomplishments," the statement said.

"Victoria was a dedicated professional who spent her career serving others through her work at the State Department and her volunteer work. She was touched by a particular orphanage in Haiti and told us how they are able to do so much, for so many, with so little."

The State Department raised the confirmed U.S. death toll from Tuesday's earthquake to six.

Obituary from the US State Department's official Dipnote blog: 

Victoria DeLong, our Cultural Affairs Officer stationed at the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince, died inside her home when the 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit on Tuesday. DeLong had served in Haiti, one of the most challenging environments in the world, since February 2009. She was highly regarded, not only by the Department of State, but also by the many youth exchange participants, scholars, professionals, journalists, community leaders, and ordinary people she befriended throughout the world. The Department of State salutes her dedication, compassion, courage, and successes in promoting educational and cultural exchange between the people of Haiti and the people of the United States.

Since 1983, Victoria DeLong served her country in diplomatic posts around the world, from the Democratic Republic of the Congo to Germany. She had a genuine enthusiasm for her work and was loved by all her colleagues. Her commitment and devotion to our mission at the Department of State will not be forgotten. Her memory will live on through her work and through the numerous lives that she has touched.

We have received an outpouring of support as people extend their condolences and express their appreciation of Victoria DeLong since the announcement of her death on the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince’s Facebook page. 

Update: The Washington Post had a nice obituary on Saturday.

See also Sec. Clinton's  statement