In Memory of Victoria DeLong

January 15, 2010
Foreign Service Officer Victoria DeLong With State Department in Background

Statement by Secretary ClintonAbout the Author: Arturo A. Valenzuela serves as Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs.

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.

We welcome your comments and memories of her in the space provided here.

More about the crisis and how to help: state.gov/haitiquake

Comments

Comments

Patricia M.
|
California, USA
January 15, 2010

Patricia M. in California writes:

We in the United States are so fortunate to have the kind of person, like Victoria DeLong, representing us throughout the world. My condolences to her loved ones.

Shaleen W.
|
Panama
January 15, 2010

Shaleen W. in Panama writes:

I met Victoria in September 2009 We participated in a training program in Washington DC. She was a beautiful and caring human being who loved serving her country and was eager to make a difference for the Haitian people. I was shocked to hear of her passing and know that the State Department has lost one of its finest. I would have loved to have had the pleasure of having her as my CAO but am honored to have met her.

palgye
|
South Korea
January 15, 2010

Palgye in South Korea writes:

To The Dead.

Cultural Affairs Officer Victoria DeLong,

the heavenly bliss of the dead person.

it`s a sad days.

Susan C.
|
Florida, USA
January 15, 2010

Susan C. in Florida writes:

We sometimes forget that our diplomats, our foreign service officers, our representatives in embassies around the world, face difficulties and dangers everyday. I was deeply saddened to hear about Victoria DeLong's death. My heart goes out to her family, friends and colleagues. I am so sorry.

Mary K.
|
District Of Columbia, USA
January 15, 2010

Mary Kay in Washington, DC writes:

I send my condolences to the family and colleagues of Ms. DeLong. I worked with her in Kinshasa, DRC and served as her International Student Advisor for approximately 2 years. I had the opportunity to travel with her to the eastern part of Congo where she met with hundreds of faculty and students at the university in Bukavu.

She will be missed.

Sincerely,
Mary Kay K.
Washington, DC

Sustasa
|
Florida, USA
January 16, 2010

Sustasa in Florida writes:

Anyone who has ever met Victoria was touched by her love of Humanity. There is no way to express the loss of such a dear soul. It is simply heart breaking.

Don G.
January 17, 2010

Don G. writes:

May Victoria rest in peace. So sad to see a colleague perish in this manner. Victoria offered her talents to helping folks wherever she served her country. RIP

John S.
|
North Carolina, USA
January 16, 2010

John Patrick in North Carolina writes:

As an aspiring Foreign Service Officer, I too would like to send my condolences and appreciation to the work that FSO DeLong undertook. Her work, as is all FS work, impacted the local community and will stand as a benchmark for the ones to follow. Thank you Foreign Service Officer DeLong for you work.

-J. P.

Dana B.
January 17, 2010

Dana B. (USAID) writes:

Victoria was a beautiful person that I am lucky to have known. She will be solely missed.

Mary C.
|
District Of Columbia, USA
January 17, 2010

Mary C. in Washington, DC writes:

Being a bit older than Victoria DeLong, I think of her as "Vickie". I was an Embassy spouse (in Kuala Lumpur) and a mother dealing with the expected ex-pat brat worries. Victoria, in addition to her professional responsibilities, made a point of seriously following my own family adjustment issues ..almost on a daily basis. She was a major force in a Women's Book Club we established as a community building institution that embraced us all. Vickie was always there.. mining the text of our books...always ready to shore-up flagging spirits.....in her own way... shy, self effacing and ultimately a woman who represented her/our country with intelligence, compassion and a deep understanding of the National legacy she knew to be true.

Donald M.
|
Virginia, USA
January 17, 2010

Donald M. in Virginia writes:

In Memory of Victoria DeLong

May she rest in peace, God blesses the perish. Our thoughts and prayers to her family.

Nancy K.
|
Ghana
January 17, 2010

Nancy K. in Ghana writes:

The loss of Victoria brings the Haitian tragedy closer to home. It could have been any of us, in the wrong place at the wrong time. I met Victoria in Kinshasa where she showed a tremendous capacity for hard work, taking on one challenge after another without getting ruffled. Surely she was doing the same in Haiti. The condolences of EducationUSA go out to her family and friends.

Cindy C.
|
District Of Columbia, USA
January 18, 2010

Cindy L. in Washington, DC writes:

I worked with Victoria over the years; she was always overseas, requesting speakers; I was always in Washington. I remember always being glad it was her name attached to the project; she was easy to work with, but clear on what she needed to do the most good.

When I heard her name as having died in Haiti, I immediately called NBC4 to donate in her name to the Salvation Army, and in my sadness, I misspelled her name! Please forgive me; but know that some of the money contributed to the Salvation Army was in her name from a colleague who remembers her affectionately.

Victoria R.
|
Tunisia
January 19, 2010

Victoria C.R. in Tunis writes:

Victoria and I took French classes together in the fall of 2008 at FSI. We shared a name and laughed about it sometimes. She was a real sweetheart and a hard worker, and she will be missed. My thoughts are with her family and loved ones.

Julie P.
|
Maryland, USA
January 19, 2010

Julie P. in Maryland writes:

Victoria was a dear friend to my mother and me. We met her in Bonn, Germany. She and my mother have carried on many years of close friendship and I have carried many fond (AND funny - she had an excellent sense of humor) memories of her. We are very sorry for her family's loss. Victoria will be greatly missed :(

Connie
|
Iraq
January 19, 2010

Connie in Iraq writes:

Victoria and I served together in Bonn just before the Embassy moved to Berlin. She was remarkably talented and dedicated. She enjoyed all of her assignments but particularly those as a Public Diplomacy Officer where she was able to meet many new friends and mingle into local cultures. Victoria was a wonderful person, I will miss her warmth and friendship.

Marva L.
|
District Of Columbia, USA
January 19, 2010

Marva L. L. in Washington, DC writes:

It pained me to learn of Victoria's death. I had sent her an email recently and was waiting for a reply. We worked together as Press Officers and continued to have a special bond because we shared the same "Birthday, February 8th." May her biological and Foreign Service families reflect on the joy, peace and love she gave to each one of them, I know I will. I will keep her family lifted up in prayer especially during the difficult days and months that lie ahead. Yes, Victoria your spirit will live on and may your soul rest in peace.

Marva (Retired FS OMS)

Rosalie
|
Chile
January 20, 2010

Rosalie in Chile writes:

We were very distressed to hear about what happened to Vicgtoria. We knew her in Bonn, Germany, at the Embassy in 1995. She was a lovely person. We send our sincerest condolences to Victoria's family and friends.

Sincerely,

Rosalie B. K. and Guillermo L.

Suzelle S.
|
Massachusetts, USA
January 20, 2010

Suzelle S. in Massachusetts writes:

My prayers and extreme gratitude to Ms DeLong and her family. Had it not been for this tradegy I would have not known of you. Now that I know about your work and your passion for humanitarian efforts, I applaud your compassion and dedication that are matched by few. Thank you for what you have done for the people of Haiti on behalf of the US. Your work and the imprint you have left was not in vain.
With sincere appreciation and gratitude, God Bless your soul and your family.

Suzelle S.

Miriam G.
January 20, 2010

Miriam E. G. writes:

I met Victoria when she served in Kinshasa and I was Cultural Coordinator in AF/PD. She was a sincere and devoted officer. I recall her dedication as she strove to assure that a threatened English Language Program would survive and the post's exchange programs thrive.

It is sadly ironic that I arrived in Port au Prince on a personal visit four hours before the earthquake and had planned to visit our cultural program the following day. Now, just returned home, I am devastated to learn of Victoria's demise and send my sincere condolences to her family and friends.

Wanda K.
|
Bosnia and Herzegovina
January 20, 2010

Wanda K. in Bosnia and Herzegovina writes:

I knew Victoria in Kuala Lumpur when she worked in the Political Section. What a lovely, delightful woman! I have so many wonderful memories of Victoria. A quirky sense of humor, her love of the water and deep sea diving (I envied her shell collection). She was absolutely devoted to her family and spoke often of them. I remember taking her to the airport when she left KL for her posting in Bonn. Her suitcases...oh my. They each weighed 100 pounds, perhaps more, and she had 3 of them. That check-in agent was absolutely not going to allow her to check those bags but before she was through w/him not only was he checking them in he was bowing and scraping and "yes ma'am"-ing her until I thought she was going to miss her flight. She had a definite way about her. She was left-handed, had absolutely gorgeous skin and hair...I just remember so many things about her. She will be sorely missed.

Patrick
|
Iraq
January 21, 2010

Patrick in Iraq writes:

Hats off and heads bowed for a fallen colleague who served her country with honor.

Kelly C.
|
District Of Columbia, USA
January 21, 2010

Kelly C. in Washington, DC writes:

I worked with Victoria in the Press Office at main State in 2000. She is a person that I have never forgotten and never will. I will keep her and her family in my prayers.

Gwen S.
|
Iraq
January 20, 2010

Gwen S. in Iraq writes:

I met Victoria in Kinshasa on my first tour. She was a friend and mentor. I have a beautiful wall hanging from the DRC that came from an artist that Victoria worked with. It will continue to hold a place in my heart for Victoia. I will always remember her friendship and her zest for life. She will be missed.

May the Lord grant her peace.

Betty G.
|
California, USA
January 21, 2010

Betty R. G. in California writes:

My dear friend was a life-long friend of Ms. Delong's Mother. My heart felt condolences go out to her Mother and sisters. Our prayers are with you in this most difficult time.

joyce C.
|
California, USA
January 25, 2010

Joyce C. in California writes:

I met Vickie in 1975, we worked together at 32nd St. Naval Station. in San Diego. She was a remarkable young woman and I knew she was destined for greatness. I was shocked and deeply saddened to hear of her death, My prayers are with her family. Joyce

Pamela M.
|
California, USA
January 23, 2010

Pamela M. in California writes:

Victoria and I served in the Front Office in Bonn together. I is difficult to believe she is no longer with us. This could have happened to any of us Foreign Service employees. It really hits home. She will be sincerely missed by all who knew her. I hope all who can will donate to the cause in Haiti -- they are hurting badly and need all the help they can get. Pam

Vienna B.
|
Nicaragua
January 23, 2010

Vienna B. in Nicaragua writes:

I had the pleasure to work with Victoria in Bonn, Germany. May she always be appreciated and blessed for everything she gave to the world. Blessings.

Barbara V.
|
Washington, USA
January 25, 2010

Barbara J. V. in Washington writes:

I had the pleasure of working with Vickie in the early 80s before she began her honorable State Department career. Vickie was then a civil servant instrumental to the operation of Naval Station, San Diego. I remember how excited she was to start her new journey with the State Department and how we were all so happy for her! She served her country then and has now made the ultimate sacrifice for her country. A beautiful human being who touched so many people throughout the world, Vickie made an memorable impact. Unfortuntately, I lost track of her over the years. It it so wonderful to read the stories of how this beautiful woman touched so many lives around the world during her short lifetime. I am honored to have worked with her. Vickie will not be forgotten. May she rest in peace.

Joyce S.
|
District Of Columbia, USA
January 25, 2010

Joyce S. in Washington writes:

I was one of the lucky ones to have known and spent time with Victoria over the course of so many years. George and I met Victoria back when she was Vickie in 1987 in San Salvador. Foreign Service friendships are often strained by service on different continents but, over the years, we found times to spend together: our home in Williamsburg, VA, her home in Kuala Lumpur, a Zambezi River safari in 2007, our Feb. 8 birthdays in Shepherdstown, WV last year. Victoria always found time to connect with George and me and we will dearly miss her.

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