Today on Blogcritics
Home » My Hero: Marla Ruzicka!

My Hero: Marla Ruzicka!

Please Share...Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Facebook0Share on Google+0Share on LinkedIn0Pin on Pinterest0Share on TumblrShare on StumbleUpon0Share on Reddit0Email this to someone

My Hero: Marla Ruzicka!
By Tristan

On Saturday, April 16, 2005 Marla Ruzicka was killed in a suicide bomb attack on the Baghdad airport road.

Marla died doing what she loved: helping the innocent civilian victims of war. At the time of her killing, Marla was on the way to see a young Iraqui girl who had been injured in another explosion.

Many of our top American politicians knew instantly who you were speaking of if you just said the word “Marla”, as she had been a vociferous and outspoken activist ever since she was in high school. When Marla died she was 28 years old.

After graduating from high school in her little hometown in northern California, this beautiful blonde firebrand went to work for the San Francisco-based human rights group: Global Exchange. Working for Global Exchange, marla got to travel to Latin america, Africa, Cuba, the Middle East, and many of the “hot spots” where innocent civilians were becoming what we now refer to as “collateral damage”.

With her experience in the years at Global Exchange, and using the contacts she had made there all over the world and in political circles, Marla founded the humanitarian non-profit Foundation “CIVIC”- The Campaign For Innocent Victims in Conflict- in 2003 on a shoestring budget and no facilities. she begged and borrowed about $4,000 from her family and friends to buy a ticket from California to Iraq and ended up there sleeping on couches and floors to save money as she began her work trying to help the people there who had been maimed or the families of those who had been killed.

Marla used her bouyant personality and knaclk for always making strangers instant friends to overcome the American military’s “Cold Shoulder” to the civilian Iraqui casualties. More often than not, Marla would be able to somehow get the military authorities to pay these destitute families at least something.

The Reverend Ted Oswald, who conducted the Memorial Mass at St. Mary’s Catholic church in Lakewood, California, 350 miles north of San Francisco, compared Ruzicka to Mother Theresa. From all I have read about Marla, she seems like a mix of Mother theresa and goldie Hawn. Many celebrities attended the Service including Sean Penn who said that Marla was his hero also.

Reverend Oswald said how when Marla was 8 years old, she had gone door to door in her neighborhood selling rocks to raise money to buy her mother some flowers, and that Marla was well-known for doing things in her “own way–and sometimes in a not-so-subtle-way”. “There’s no doubt in my mind that the good Lord has his hands full right now,” Oswald said, referring to Ruzicka’s outspoken nature. “Not only does he have his hands full, but heaven will never be the same.”

I would be at peace if when I was close to death I knew that I had been able to accomplish even “some” of what Marla Ruzicka had during her short 28 years on this planet!

A few links to some stories about Marla:
here, here, and here.

Powered by

About Tristan

  • Eric Olsen

    thanks Tristan! very powerful combination of celebration and sorrow

  • http://cranialcavity.net/wordpress/index.php Marc

    Well thank you for so graciously offering those links to the Ruzicka story. Let me add a few for balance.

    She has been quoted on, and published for the World Socialist Website. Where she jumped on the “Bush stole the election bandwagon” and called Republican terrorists.

    Who is Global Exchange? During the Afgan war they pumped out nonexsistent war casulties in support of a far left agenda.

    Her organization is now funded in large part by Open Society Institute, a George Soros organization, with low-cost rental space provided by Human Rights Watch.

    You remember good ole George, he wants to break down every sovereign border in the World and have one large unified world government.

    Not to mention give immediate and open access to every known narcotic to your children through a legalization process.

    Marla may have done a lot of good in her time, I won’t dispute that, but she damm sure got awfull dirty from the people she kept company with.

    And BTW, she absolutely, LOVED Castro. Figures don’t it?

  • Eric Olsen

    Her politics have little or no bearing on the fact that she lived out her principles of helping others and died in a war zone doing just that. Heroes come from a wide variety of political persuasions.

  • Tristan

    Marla often was quoted as stating she was not involved at all with politics and that was not her concern; that she simply wanted to help people that could not help themselves such as the destitute ones she did help from the war-related incidents.

    She took funding from many different sources and many different political persuasions.

    If the person who seemed to denigrate her humanitarian contributions, including paying the highest price of giving her life to help people with no resources and that nobody else seemed to BE helping– wants to label her a “leftist” or whatever, then I hope that I also can be called a “leftist”.

  • SFC SKI

    While Ms Ruzicka’s political affiliations may be questionable, I will give her credit for backing up her words with actions rather than staying on the sidelines.

  • ClubhouseCancer

    I had the good fortune to interview Marla once. She was an exceptional person, and fighting to help the victims of war is among the noblest undertakings I can imagine.

  • Michael Pe

    I first saw Marla on CSPAN and was very impressed by this beautiful articulate person who spoke such reasonable common sense.She worked from a centre of Love with a breathtaking fearlessness .No one could ever replace this talented and exceptional person.Her example however will stimulate many to greater action on behalf of those who Marla died for.God bless you Marla you have made the world a better place.

  • Tristan

    I wonder what contributions to society and humanity at large MARC who made the statement above has made…?
    Anything even remotely on the same level as Marla made~~~~?????

  • Tristan

    Seems to me to be indicative of a sad society when things like the Michael Jackson case and whether Paula Abdul is addicted to drugs, etc… has so much more coverage and interest than what Marla was doing and how she died.

    And we wonder WHY our society seems to be descending at an ever increasing speed into a pit of ME’ishness………..

    And why we are beginning to have ever increasing instances of the “school shootings” and the sex-predators raping and killing……….

    We have one of the most wonderful role models for society in Marla and it gets almost “buried” in the media….

    Despite the fact that we who stay “tuned” to the news are aware of it–the majority of people aren’t…..but they sure do all seem to be aware of the Michael Jackson case, and that Brad Pitt “might” be having an affair with Angelina Jolie…………..

    I’ve seen very few people in my life since President Kennedy who I could clearly say were good role models and a “hero” for our growing children to emulate and aspire to mold their lives on until I heard of what Marla had been doing and HOW she had been doing it.
    It certainly wasn’t for MONEY and despite some of the snide remarks about Marla’s “supposed” politics—-it had nothing to do with politics. Marla simply saw an unfilled need and tried as hard as she could to meet it.
    That is not “politics”—that is being a compassionate human being and trying to help other human beings who have been hurt. Marla exuded pure love as all who came in contact with her will attest to. Despite having a college education and the ability to have a lucrative “career”, Marla chose to live out of a suitcase and often sleep on someone’s couch or floor to do the work she felt nobody was doing to help those people who nobody else seemed to be helping.

  • Tristan

    Oh! ~~~~
    (ps – Fair is fair; but to come up with such a blatantly fabricated statement that is an outright LIE…calls into question the entire ethics and integrity of that individual who made the totally unsupported statement that “And BTW, she absolutely, LOVED Castro.”
    This kind of slander smear campaing is unworthy even of a child in elementary school, let alone one who is “supposed” to be an “adult”.
    To smear a person with such a pure noble heart just after she is murdered in the act of trying to unselfishly help the poor innocent civilian victims of war is far beneath a normal human response.

  • http://StanleyDaily.com Stanley Krute

    The growing thread of slanders against Marla and her good works by the jackminded
    right is no accident.

    She makes them very nervous. She msakes them look very bad.

    In the history of the right, has there been a single individual who did in a lifetime what Marla did in a month to help humanity ?

    My politics are not Marla’s. But to not recognize her as a very human and at the
    same time Great Soul is only to alert
    us to the blindness of one’s heart.

    — stan

  • Tristan

    Stan ~~~~

    very aptly put.

    And really– unless you think that trying to help the poor and uneducated is “political”, Marla really didn’t profess “politics” ….

    Many seem to “need” to denigrate her for some of her funding sources, ie., Soros and other “leftist” segments; Marla took money from anywhere to help the poor….

    Please, if you haven’t seen it allready, view “Beyond Borders” with Clive Owen and Angelina Jolie to see what the aid groups are REALLY up against, and some of the “compromises” to get the aid they need to help people that are dying and have nothing.

    Very easy to sit here in America with your 3/2 $300,000 house, your three cars and pensions and stocks, etc and deride these helpers because they “might be ‘leftists’ “–but let’s see THEM go over there and sleep on the floor and get blown up!

  • Tristan

    Also;

    after filming Beyond Borders-
    Angelina Jolie became very involved in something similar to what Marla attempted-
    and many people “bashed” her also—
    and now she’s been a Goodwill Ambasador for the United Nations for several years— her compassion has also passed the test of time and all her detractors also were proven just to be ill-intentioned miserable malcontents that are not happy unless they fault someone that people look up to….

    I wonder why …. heh …heh…….

  • Eric Olsen

    people are suspicious of the lips

  • Tristan

    Angelina Jolie has the most DELICIOUS looking lips I’ve ever laid eyes on~~~

    In either the new Playboy or Penthouse she saysshe really wants to be tied up and taken ………

    God ~~~
    I could NEVER do THAT …

    Mmmmmmmmmm…………

  • Lee Tilson

    Someone criticizes Marla because a so called socialist website quotes her? I would bet that we can find a few quotes of some right wingers on some unusual websites. That guilt by quote-association is silly at best.

    Marla is a true hero who put her life on the line.

    She deserves beatification.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    The real point, which all of you are missing, is that she was doing good work to help the people of Iraq and was killed indescriminantly by a suicide bomber.

    This kind of mindless terrorism doesn’t differentiate between those who are enemies or friends or even between those who are natives or ‘invaders’. The entire goal is to cause death and chaos. The terrorists would gladly kill every woman and child and doctor and aid worker in Iraq and burn the whole country to the ground if it would advance their cause. They don’t give a damn about the Iraqi people – especially now that the Iraqis have identified the terrorists rather than the Americans as their real enemies – all they care about is their political agenda of hate and violence.

    The terrorists are no longer even pretending to target Americans or even Iraqi government targets. They just send their bombs where the most innocent people are.

    I would guess that after her time in Iraq Maria – like so many others – came to realize that the Terrorists are such inhuman monsters that invading Iraq and the deaths that resulted were a small price to pay to bring their evil out in the open if it will eventually lead to their defeat.

    Dave

  • Tristan

    Dave and Lee above are right on TARGET~~~

    and that attack this weekend where the terrorists just plowed a bomb-filled car into a tent filled with innocent civilians attending a funeral exhibits just what type of gutless animals these terrorists really are!

  • Tristan

    Angelina Jolie ~~~!!!!

    I’d love to go work in a refugee camp with her ……..

  • Tristan

    Activist recalled for her devotion to Iraqis

    Sunday, May 15, 2005 Posted: 8:57 AM EDT (1257 GMT)

    Marla Ruzicka poses with an Iraqi family in this photo from CIVIC.
    Image:

    Discover Platinum Clear Credit Card
    Minimize your debt with a 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers with…
    http://www.discovercard.com
    MyCashNow – $100 – $1,000 Overnight
    Payday Loan Cash goes in your account overnight. Very low fees. Fast decisions….
    http://www.mycashnow.com
    Refinance Rates Hit Record Lows
    Get $150,000 loan for $720 per month. Refinance while rates are low.
    http://www.lowermybills.com
    LendingTree.com – Official Site
    Lendingtree – Find a mortgage, refinance, home equity or auto loan now. Receive…
    http://www.lendingtree.com

    VIDEO
    Marla Ruzicka remembered for her devotion to Iraqi people.
    PLAY VIDEO
    RELATED
    • Hundreds attend funeral
    • Humanitarian killed in Iraq
    SPECIAL REPORT
    • Timeline: A new government
    • Flash: Government structure
    • Chart: Iraq’s National Assembly
    • Interactive: Iraq’s population
    • Coalition Casualties
    • Special Report
    YOUR E-MAIL ALERTS
    Iraq
    or Create your own
    Manage alerts | What is this?

    WASHINGTON (CNN) — Marla Ruzicka, an American activist killed in an Iraqi car bombing last month, was remembered Saturday for her “tenaciousness” when she counted civilian war casualties at a special memorial service in Washington.

    “Only by doing so can we note the true cost of war and we can properly dignify and honor each person killed or wounded as an individual — as a father, a son, a daughter, a mother — not just as collateral damage,” Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, said. “That’s Marla’s legacy.”

    About 200 people gathered in a U.S. Senate Caucus Room on Capitol Hill to honor Ruzicka, including many Washington power brokers.

    Leahy, who organized the event, recalled the 28-year-old as tireless campaigner who founded the Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict (CIVIC) in 2003 after the fall of Baghdad in April 2003.

    The California native conducted door-to-door surveys trying to determine the number of civilian casualties. She died April 16 in the capital.

    Leahy has said Ruzicka helped secure millions of dollars from Congress for distribution to Iraqi civilians.

    Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, said, “It’s just the instant that we occupy that we know about. And so what we do with that instant is all important. And here was a young woman who lived her instant to the fullest.

    Among the others who spoke at the memorial were Samir Shakir Sumaidaie, Iraqi ambassador to the United Nations; consumer advocate Ralph Nader; and author Peter Bergen, a terrorism analyst.

    “Where else in the world is a government helping the civilians they harm in conflict? Marla was very proud of this fact,” Bergen said.

    “In a final e-mail (she said): ‘We’re helping lots of kids with medical care’ — this is on the day that Marla died — ‘This place continues to break my heart. Need to get out of here, but it’s hard.'”

    CNN’s Tomas Etzler contributed to this report

  • Tristan

    Sorry! Didn’t realize or see all that advertisement attached to the former post when I pasted it here ~~~~
    just removed it ………..

    WASHINGTON (CNN) — Marla Ruzicka, an American activist killed in an Iraqi car bombing last month, was remembered Saturday for her “tenaciousness” when she counted civilian war casualties at a special memorial service in Washington.

    “Only by doing so can we note the true cost of war and we can properly dignify and honor each person killed or wounded as an individual — as a father, a son, a daughter, a mother — not just as collateral damage,” Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, said. “That’s Marla’s legacy.”

    About 200 people gathered in a U.S. Senate Caucus Room on Capitol Hill to honor Ruzicka, including many Washington power brokers.

    Leahy, who organized the event, recalled the 28-year-old as tireless campaigner who founded the Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict (CIVIC) in 2003 after the fall of Baghdad in April 2003.

    The California native conducted door-to-door surveys trying to determine the number of civilian casualties. She died April 16 in the capital.

    Leahy has said Ruzicka helped secure millions of dollars from Congress for distribution to Iraqi civilians.

    Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, said, “It’s just the instant that we occupy that we know about. And so what we do with that instant is all important. And here was a young woman who lived her instant to the fullest.

    Among the others who spoke at the memorial were Samir Shakir Sumaidaie, Iraqi ambassador to the United Nations; consumer advocate Ralph Nader; and author Peter Bergen, a terrorism analyst.

    “Where else in the world is a government helping the civilians they harm in conflict? Marla was very proud of this fact,” Bergen said.

    “In a final e-mail (she said): ‘We’re helping lots of kids with medical care’ — this is on the day that Marla died — ‘This place continues to break my heart. Need to get out of here, but it’s hard.'”

    CNN’s Tomas Etzler contributed to this report

  • Tristan

    Angelina Jolie is only 29 years old ..????

  • Tristan

    Has the Pope really started the process of cannonizing Angelina Jolie’s lips …?????

  • Tristan

    Angelina Jolie –SAINTHOOD ?????

  • Tristan

    ADDICTION ~~~~!!!!!!

    I cannot stop looking at photos of MARLA ~~~ I must be an “ADDICT” …!!!!

  • Tristan

    kind of makes ya wonder what all that hoopla about Bobby Brown’s Reality Show was really all about ………

    to me it just looked like two very seriously addicted dysfunctional people (brown & houston) —making a bunch of unintelligible gibberish and attempting to grab each other and jump in the sack every cnance they had (althoug being as doped up as they both so obviously were —they probably couldn’t consummate any sexual act …) ~~

    and the American Public is looking for “this” type of “entertainmaent” ..???

    I know after about 15 minutes of the same gibberish and monosyllablic gutteral grunting from Whiotney in her disgusting nasty Diva-like impersonation with her arrogance and insulting behavior to the public and “fans” that have stood beside her through all of her ridiculous and insufferable drug escapades~~~

    How can she be so rude and obnoxious as to just yell and denigrate her “fans” as she was seen publicly over and over on the camera ..??

    I had to switch channels to stop from puking …………

  • Tristan

    Bobby Brown & Whitney Houston:
    wonder what charities & causes THEY have been working to help lately …??

  • Tristan

    Pay It Forward is an idea Marla would have loved to be involved in~~

    http://www.payitforwardfoundation.org/

  • Tristan

    Tom Cruise, in his Scientology-addled sick brain, generates a million-fold more press than a true selfless heroine like Marla~~~

    THIS is indicative of just how toxic and close to apocalypse our society has come …..

  • Dr. Tristan, M.D.

    I’d like to propose Lauryn Hill for Sainhood also …………….

  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    It’s sad to see someone like Marc use lies and half-truths in an attempt to demonize a person with Marla Ruzicka’s record of humanitarian service, and call that “balance.”

    Tristan, I have to admire the energy you have put into keeping this story active. Even if I disagree with you on many details, you and I probably share more goals than you might suspect.

  • Dr. Tristan, M.D.

    and I just saw that when I went in and visited your blog and saw your bio~~~

    you’re correct; we do seem to appear on the same page after all~~

    I retract all my former snipes at you!

    thanks much for your kind words about Marla…………

    and someone like Nark just has some sleazy venomous hidden agenda to need to come out like he did and trash a person of such good intent who died as she did ………..

  • Dr. Tristan, M.D.

    London bombs work of IRA ????

  • http://xraystyle.blogspot.com Bryan McKay

    How long are you going to keep narcissistically (and irritatingly) pimping this post here, Tristan?

  • Dr. Tristan, M.D.

    as long as it annoys you bryan………

    now I wonder just WHY it bothers youso much –this particular post, that is~~~
    does it bother you that it’s about a very positive life-affirming person that happened to die trying to help people —
    instead of about other more mundane negative aspects of society which seem to get much more attention in our society these days …???

    please tell us all bryan~~ what is it that “bothers and annoys” you Soooooo much that this particular post keeps re-surfacing ….

    I can see how irritated you are getting by it.

    It’s more than obvious to all who have read your last comment ~~~

    it just seems like such evidence so clearly printed, of what a sad ethical makeup you have.

  • http://xraystyle.blogspot.com Bryan McKay

    it just seems like such evidence so clearly printed, of what a sad ethical makeup you have.

    You could probably see plenty of evidence to the contrary in my comments on any number of threads, so I won’t even bother arguing this absurd claim. What “bothers and annoys” me so much is that you, and mostly only you, keep posting absurd and unrelated things to this thread that have nothing to do with the original post, for what is quite obviously the sole purpose of keeping this post on the main page. This post doesn’t bother me, but your obnoxious trolling behavior does.

  • Dr. Tristan, M.D.

    but it DOES bother you~~~
    otherwise you wouldn’t have SAID SO~ , eh ..??

    you can’t have your cake and eat it too~~

    either it bothers you or it DOESN’T —

    looks like you were lying in either the 1st or 2nd post here today, eh?

    which one WERE you lying in?

    (SUCKS to get caught in front of the entire reading public here with your grubby little sensationalist fingers in the public cookie jar, doesn’t it BRYAN…?????)

  • http://xraystyle.blogspot.com Bryan McKay

    I never said that the post bothered me. Don’t accuse me of lying unless you have something really solid to back it up, because that’s not going to get you very far around here. I thought the original post was thoughtful and informative, but you are the only person (with the exception of one, up until now) who has commented on this post since the beginning of May. It’s not your responsibility to keep this post going. If interesting dialogue happens to develop around it, then fine, the post will stay afloat as long as the interest is still there. You don’t see me going back and commenting all over my old posts so I can see myself on the front page.

    With all that said, I’m done commenting here, because I have no desire to continue bumping this post. If you want to continue this conversation with me, I suggest you take it up in an email.

  • Dr. Tristan, M.D.

    next Tony Blair will be saying the same Terrorists that murdered Marla were behind the London Bombings …………

    (and he will have just about as much proof for both ludicrous assertations.)

  • Dr. Tristan, M.D.

    Telletubbies~~!!!

    anyone in the know knows the telletubbies did it…….

    after all–they are homosexuals right?

    they are probably Muslims too !

  • Dr. Tristan, M.D.

    Osama Bin Laden praised Marla’s work with the poor people of Iraq and invited her to his cave for cock-tales …….

  • Dr. Tristan, M.D.

    Tom Cruise and Angelina Jolie were not rumored to be having wild sex with Russell Crowe before he threw the telephone at Osama Bin Laden who was supposedly not having anal sex with Karl Rove as Teddy Kennedy watched while buggering hilary Clinton………..

  • PseudoErsatz

    Dr. Tristan, M.D.: Most doctorate-level professionals only use either “Dr.” or M.D., not both–it is redundant. Why do you use both? Is Dr. your first name? Just curious.

  • Eric Olsen

    perhaps it’s honorary

  • Dr. Tristan, M.D.

    yes. How observant! :<_

    the keyword is “most”, eh ~~!!!!

    Where is GONZO when we need him~~~

    being fired out of a cannon,,,,

  • Eric Olsen

    T, as fine as this post was, perhaps it’s time to start work on a new one?

  • Dr. Tristan, M.D.

    thanx for the oblique complment eric;

    is it “irritating” you that it keeps “surfacing” …….
    there IS reason to my “madness” ~~
    and I’m not mad ~~~
    just politely persistent ……
    and I feel the Marla deserves as much eXposure as possible ~~~

    after seeing the lengthy diatribes on some topics on here RECENTLY ~~
    (not mentioning the Adam Goldberg postings…..!!!)—-
    perhaps Marla’s story is not really THAT “stale’ish” in comparison to some of the other more “important” topics that have gone on and on and on and on and …….

    (wondering WHY this “topic” which everytime it DOES start to vanish and I dig it up, thus allowing her tale to be seen by just a few more —- “bothers” anyone~~~ doesn’t that Adam Goldberg thread “bother” anyone~~~and I think perhaps Marla contributed quite a bit more to the world and just possibly MIGHT deserve a wee bit more “play” that studd so dire and life-affecting as Adam Goldberg’s thread and MANY LIKE IT ~~~

    unless of course you’d like to censor me and just keep the topics that the “inner cadre” of BlogCritics keep going ….GAWD!~~~but that sounds a little bit like the Gulag Mentality doesn’t it ..??

    and we ARE all proponents of Free Speech within “limits”, aren’t we ~~??
    even if we AREN’T in the inner echelons of BlogCritics……..

    or maybe not………… )

  • http://atlanticreview.org Jorg

    Thanks for writing about Marla Ruzicka. Today is the anniversary of her tragic death. I remember her in the Atlantic Review: Civilian Victims of War. She did advance U.S. interests:Marla: Reconciliation. Thanks.