A year ago tomorrow, in Baghdad, a young woman from California was killed by a suicide bomb. Marla Ruzicka was working to get aid to Iraqi civilians harmed by U.S. military operations when her car and that of her colleague Faiz Ali Salim was destroyed on the now-infamous airport road.
Marla’s legacy lives on in the countless people continuing her work and in the families she tried so hard to assist. Her help to victims of war should also be enshrined in our policies if we as a country are to be, as Marla put it, “just a little bit better.”
Sarah Holewinski is CIVIC's former Executive Director and now serves on the Board of Directors. She was most recently deputy chief of staff for policy at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations. As executive director of CIVIC, she led efforts to advise warring parties on civilian protection and responsible use of force and worked extensively with the U.S. military and its allies and in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, CAR, Burma, and elsewhere.