By FOX News Radio’s Jared Halpern in Washington
Earlier this month at the State Department, eight names were added to wall memorializing diplomats and Foreign Service officers killed while serving overseas.
“In many places around the world,” Vice President Joe Biden remarked at the event, “they’re as much as a soldier as anyone in uniform.”
Biden’s words rang true as Gregory Hicks testified this week to the House Oversight Committee.
Hicks was the second-ranking diplomat in Libya on September 11, 2012. From the embassy in Tripoli he got real-time updates about the storming of the consulate and how diplomats desperately fought for their lives.
“The consulate was invaded,” Hicks recalled in the first public minute-by-minute account offered publically.
“The Villa C where the Ambassador and Sean Smith and Scott Wickland were hiding in the safe area was set on fire… Scott attempted to lead the Ambassador and Sean Smith out of the burning building. He managed to make it out. He tried repeatedly to go back in to try to rescue Sean and the Ambassador but had to stop due to exposure to smoke.”
In all, Hicks estimates as many as 60 attackers were inside the consulate at one point.
The names of Ambassador Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Ty Woods and Glen Doherty are now etched on that State Department memorial wall.
So too is the name of 25-year-old Anne Smedinghoff. She was killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan delivering books to school children last month.
“In a class of bright and ambitious foreign service officers in training, Anne stood out as a super-star in the making,” Under Secretary of State Patrick Kennedy remarked.
A month before the Benghazi consulate attack, USAID Foreign Service officer Ragai Said Abdelfattah was killed in Afghanistan. That same month, more than 50 coalition troops died in Afghanistan.
LISTEN to FOX News Radio’s Jared Halpern reporting on the Benghazi hearing: