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A Joie de Vivre

I met Mariusz during my first Taize visit in 1988. I remember him as a genuine, honest, respectful person with a joie de vivre that I can still recall so clearly. The various tributes that people have written since his death remind me so well of Mariusz’ demeanor and wonderful personality. I am truly saddened by his death – my deepest condolences to his family. He will certainly live on in the minds and hearts of so many.

Christine Theuma Wilkins

* This photo is used with permission. Included in the photo with Mariusz are his Taize friends Raimundo Cox and Gerardo Ortiz.

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This is a notice for all who are interested in attending the funeral ceremonies for Mariusz:

The  funeral will take place on Monday, 26th of April

The mass starts at 3.00pm at St. Jacek church on 10 Freta street, Warsaw

The burial will be at 5.00pm in Powazki Army Cementary (Powązki Wojskowe)  ul. Powązkowskiej 43/45

Many of us got to know Mariusz well in the 1990s when he was a central presence in the process of rebuilding a new NATO to include Poland and others from Central and Eastern Europe.  I found him to be one of the freshest thinkers and individuals I met in my experience.  Thanks to our mutual friends Josh Spero and Jeff Simon I was fortunate to get to know Mariusz outside of work too with children playing together and enjoying respites from busy Washington.  I can think of few more honest souls than Mariusz.  His smile is infectious and even when I see it now it brings warmth to the heart.  Oddly when this happened, I spent much of the morning thinking of another friend tragically lost – Joseph Kruzel.  I think that this experience serves as a profound reminder of the hard work so many do, and not for fame or fortunate but simply to do the right thing to build a better world for our children.  There are many still untold stories of hour the post-Cold War era was shaped behind the scenes and many untold heroes – Mariusz was one of them.  Ultimately his presence is a tribute to the value of their efforts at work, love of their families and efforts to make the world a more peaceful place.  But what truly is revealed is not only the value of the work, but the value of the people that do it.  Mariusz will always be missed but live on in the hearts of generations.

Sean Kay
Dr. Sean Kay

Chair, International Studies and Professor

Ohio Wesleyan University

Fellow in Foreign Policy and National Security

The Eisenhower Institute

Washington, D.C.

Here are some thoughts about Mariusz from his friend and distinguished author, Mr Joshua Muravchik. This article has been published by the World Affairs journal where Mr Muravchik  contributes.

The article can be found here.

Mariusz,

The last time that I saw you was in a coffee shop in New York City while we were working on the U.N. Expert Panel on Balllistic Missiles.  We had just run into each other on the way to the meeting and you asked if I’d eaten breakfast yet – fortunately, I hadn’t and ended up having a great talk as we plowed through eggs, potatoes, and toast.  I remember you commenting on how we Americans still didn’t figure out how to make a decent cup of coffee.

When I learned that you were gone, just today while talking with Andrew Wood, the first thing that I remembered was how every time you met me, or anyone, there was always that smile, handshake, and a grip on the shoulder.  While it has been a long time since that meeting in New York, the memory is still clear and will always be what I’ll remember about you.

The personal touch that you brought to sometimes tense international meetings was a real gift that I know served your country and the world well.

Fair winds and following seas.  I am pround to have been able to be a friend.

Clark Adams

Washington, D.C.

20 April 2010

I wish I could remember the first year we met, but I know it was more than 10 years ago. You became my trusted collegue in all that we worked on, but most of all you ultimately became the dearest of friend that anyone could wish for.

I remember when we met that I discovered my favourite bar in Warsaw was a place you knew well and that you almost had a share in. I knew immediately that you were a man of great taste and had the same lust for living in the moment. You had time for everyone and made their life brighter with a your generosity and warmth.

We talked at length over beers. I recall stories of your possibly becoming a goalkeeper, of disarmament, the world and life.

I remember being with you during the MTCR plenary in Warsaw. The time you invited me to your private Chair’s office where we spent the evening drafting statements that I still feel set the scene for many years to come. We shared a wondeful evening, talking, brainstorming and laughing. You were the most energetic Chair we had ever known. You engaged so well with everyone you met and motivated them with your enthusiasm and honesty.

Mariusz, most of all I miss you as my friend. I wish we had found more time. I wanted to come to Warsaw to share time with you again. Sadly, it will never be the same again, but if I do come back, I will return to our bar and raise a glass to you with a tear in my eye. I will smile through the tears and remember. You will never be forgotten by those that have the privilege to call you a friend.

Rest in peace.

Andrew Wood

Mariusz was once a fellow at the Freedom House in Washington.  Here is a link to their condolences:

http://www.freedomhouse.org/template.cfm?page=1