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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk
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    10.25.16 @ 11:04 AM
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    Default 37 Years Later, Girl in Vietnam War Photo Spreads Hope

    37 Years Later, Girl in Vietnam War Photo Spreads Hope

    Even people who aren't old enough to remember the Vietnam War recognize the iconic image of a little girl, naked and covered with napalm burns. Associated Press photographer Nick Ut captured the shot in of Kim Phuc Phan Thai (Kim Phuc for short) in 1972, just before helping the 9-year-old girl to a hospital in South Vietnam.

    "Sixty-five percent of my body got burned," she told HealthDay in an interview published this week. "I should be dead." But Kim Phuc is far from it.

    A Woman of Grace
    Now, nearly four decades later, Kim Phuc is a peace activist, United Nations Goodwill Ambassador and public speaker. She recently shared her story at a conference of burn survivors and burn-care specialists in NYC.

    Although the 46-year-old mother of two suffered nerve damage and still feels pain from the third-degree burns that covered more than half her body, she expressed a message of hope and optimism even in the face of tremendous suffering. Her story inspired not just doctors at the conference but other burn survivors who were there to find support.

    The Girl in the Picture
    Kim Phuc's burns were so severe that doctors thought she was unlikely to survive, but that wasn't her first concern. "I still remember my thoughts at that moment: I would be ugly and people would treat me in a different way," she once said. She spent over a year in the hospital and endured numerous surgeries, almost dying several times.

    Ut's photo later won a Pulitzer Prize and became an international symbol of the agony suffered by both sides during the Vietnam War. An entire book, "The Girl in the Picture" was written about the power of the image, which helped turn the tide of public opinion.

    Love Is More Powerful Than Napalm
    She has publicly forgiven an American pilot who helped plan the bombing that scarred her as a child -- she credits forgiveness with helping her turn the corner from victim to advocate. "Napalm is very powerful, but faith, forgiveness and love are much more powerful," she has said.

    For all Kim Phuc has been through, she has managed to find a silver lining: "The pain I consider as my protection. It humbles me, and helps me to never take my life for granted," she told HealthDay. "And to share my story."
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack. -- Gen. George S. Patton

  2. #2
    carpe damn diem billy007's Avatar
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    10.25.16 @ 06:21 PM
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    One of the few remembrances I have of the nightly reports on the Vietnam war in my childhood. Glad to see she's been able to carry on.



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