Friday, May 7, 2010

Ghosts of the Past

There is a wonderful photo essay in The Big Picture from the Boston Globe entitled "Vietnam, 35 Years Later" that brings back the raw imagery and memories of that terrible, sad time.

The iconic picture of the Vietnam war in the above essay is the one of Kim Phúc, a 9 year old girl running naked down a road suffering from napalm burns.

She now lives in Canada (from Wikipedia):
As a young adult, Phúc was removed from her university and used as a propaganda symbol by the communist government of Vietnam. In 1986, however, she was granted permission to continue her studies in Cuba. She had converted from her family's Cao Dai religion to Christianity four years earlier. Phạm Văn Đồng, the then-Prime Minister of Vietnam, became her friend and patron. After arriving in Cuba she met Bui Huy Toan, another Vietnamese student and her future fiancé. In 1992, Phúc and Toan married and went on their honeymoon. During a refuelling stop in Gander, Newfoundland, they left the plane and asked for political asylum in Canada. It was granted. The couple now live in Ajax, Ontario, and have two children. In 1996, Phúc met the surgeons who had saved her life. The following year, she passed the Canadian Citizenship Test with a perfect score, and became a Canadian citizen. On December 28, 2009, National Public Radio broadcast her spoken essay, "The Long Road to Forgiveness", for the "This I Believe" series.

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