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Each May, the State Depart-

ment, the American Foreign

Service Association and

other organizations team up

to hold Foreign Affairs Day.

And each year, hundreds

of Foreign Service alumni

return to Foggy Bottom

to participate in the day’s

homecoming activities.

This year, the May 1 event

marked 50 years since

the first Foreign Affairs

Day—long known as Foreign

Service Day—was organized

to recognize and appreciate

the dedication of America’s

diplomatic professionals.

Secretary of State

John Kerry, en route to Sri

Lanka at the time, recorded

opening remarks thanking

the brave members of the

Foreign Service “who spend

their careers trying to ensure

that our country does the

right thing for other people

in other parts of the world in

a smart way.”

The day’s agenda

included policy seminars

with senior officials, an open

house with AFSA and other

Foreign Service support

organizations, an official

luncheon in the department’s

Benjamin Franklin Diplomatic

Reception Room and the

annual AFSA Merit Awards


Foreign Affairs Day Turns 50

AFSA Coordinator for Special Awards and Outreach Perri Green welcomes

the parents of David Collins. From left: AFSA Secretary Angela Dickey,

Green, Janice Collins and Bernard Collins.




AFSA President Robert J. Silverman (left) opens the 83rd AFSA Memorial

Ceremony, during which the names of Rayda Nadal and David Collins

were added to the AFSA memorial plaque. Under Secretary of State

for Management Patrick Kennedy (right) read the names as they were


Following the ceremony, Under Secretary Kennedy (right) meets with the

parents of Rayda Nadal, Jimmy (left) and Rayda Nadal (center).

two new names—David Col-

lins and Rayda Nadal—to the

245 already listed.

In his remarks at the

ceremony, AFSA President

Robert J. Silverman offered

his condolences: “To the

family and friends of David

and Rayda, I express our

deepest sympathy for their

losses and our enduring

gratitude for their service.

… They and their work will

be remembered by us and

will continue to inspire us

as we pass daily by this wall

dedicated to them and our

other fallen colleagues.”

Immediately preceding the

ceremony, AFSA hosted an

intimate breakfast for the

Collins and Nadal families in

solemn appreciation of their


Lagos-based David Collins

drowned on April 28, 2014,

after being overtaken by a

powerful undertow during an

embassy outing to the beach.

Rayda Nadal, a Foreign Ser-

AFSA Memorial Wall

The AFSA Memorial Cer-

emony honoring fallen mem-

bers of the Foreign Service

has become a hallmark of

Foreign Affairs Day (though

the memorial plaques,

located in the department’s

C Street Lobby, date back to

1933). This year, AFSA added