In a terribly tragic irony, Marla Ruzicka, who grew up in Lake County, and worked tirelessly for Medea Benjamin's Global Exchange before founding her own organization, "The Campaign For Innocent Victims of Conflict" in the wake of the wars on Afghanistan and Iraq, was killed by a suicide bomber in Baghdad on Saturday at the age of 28.

The U.S. Embassy reports that the bomber was attacking a convoy of 'security contractors' that was passing her vehicle. Ruzicka, who had journied to Afghanistan to run Global Exchange's Kabul office, then flew to Baghdad in February before the war began, finally returning to Iraq not to protest the war but to offer aid and support to the innocent victims and civilian bystanders caught in the crossfire. Hers is a story of selfless humanism amidst horrendous suffering, and serves as an example of what a single American citizen can accomplish in grassroots diplomacy on an international level.

Her funeral will be held on Saturday at 11am in Lakeport's St. Mary's Church, and a memorial service will follow in Washington, D.C. Her father, Clifford Ruzicka, asks that donations in her memory be made to CIVIC at P. O. Box 1189, Lakeport, CA 95453. SFist truly hopes that her good works will serve to inspire Americans to demand accountability from the military and the administration for Iraqi and Afghani civilian casualties.

Uncredited snapshot special to the San Francisco Chronicle.