The Sacrifices of the Slain Aid Workers (NYT, and Hilary Clinton video)

Their devotion was perhaps most evident in what they gave up to carry out their mission: Dr. Thomas L. Grams, 51, left a thriving dental practice; Dr. Karen Woo, 36, walked away from a surgeon’s salary; Cheryl Beckett, 32, had no time for courtship or marriage.

Most of all, the 10 medical workers massacred in northern Afghanistan last week — six Americans, one German, one Briton and two Afghans — sacrificed their own safety, in a calculated gamble that weighed the risk against the distribution of eyeglasses and toothbrushes, pain relief and prenatal care to remote villages they reached on foot.

The group that was attacked was returning from a three-week mission in Nuristan that included two veteran aid workers, Mr. Little, 61, an optometrist and the group’s leader, and Dan Terry, 64, both of whom arrived in Afghanistan in the 1970s. Mr. Little and his wife, Libby, raised three daughters there.

Dr. Grams Afghanistan had learned to negotiate the etiquette of the burka so he could work on the diseased teeth of women who may never have seen a dentist. In 2007 he gave up a thriving practice in Durango, Colo., to treat patients for whom an encounter with a dentist meant a life-changing release from pain.

Two years ago, after visiting a friend in Kabul, {Dr. Woo} quit her $150,000-a-year job to move there. ... She was just weeks from her wedding. But it was her medical work that anchored her life. Her fiancé’s mother told The Sunday Times of London that Dr. Woo resolved to do more to promote women’s rights in Afghanistan after she treated a 14-year-old girl who had been burned after refusing to marry an older man.

One of two Afghans killed, Ahmed Jawed, 24, a cook, had been excitedly considering what to do with the $20 a day in overtime he would earn on the trip. Mr. Jawed was the main breadwinner for his wife, three children and extended family, and was known in his neighborhood for the collection of 500 audiotapes he would break out for weddings or parties. The second Afghan victim, Mahram Ali, 51, supported two disabled sons on his salary of $150 a month.

Mr. Jawed’s brother Abdul Bagin said of the killers: “They were infidels; not human, not Muslims. They killed my brother without any judgment, without any trial, without talking to him.”

Find the  full New York Times article here.

Hilary Clinton condemns the murders: