24 April, 2005

Marla Ruzicka, RIP

I read today about Marla Ruzicka, an American who was killed recently in a car bomb attack in Iraq. (CNN) She was neither a soldier, nor a contractor, nor a political operative. She was a human rights worker, and she happened to be Catholic, and she happened to be rather heroic in her work.

What impresses me most about Ms. Ruzicka is that she wasn't interested in taking sides on the conflict itself; she wanted simply to help those suffering from war. She recently founded an organization that she named CIVIC to tally and help victims of the fighting in Iraq. From what I've read, she found that the American military was actually quite helpful.

An interesting observation on her technique:

Ruzicka often arrived in war-torn places unprepared and nearly broke, he said. But Lawrence said she quickly managed to win over the hearts of those she was helping and those whose help she needed.
I don't know if she qualifies as a saint (sanctity is not a question of doing good works) but she is certainly one of the more admirable people I have read about in recent times: someone more interested in getting things done than in press conferences and self-righteous denunciations.

Requiescat in pace.

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