What Ever Happened to the Little Vietnamese Girl in the Photo?

This famous photo by Nick Ut of the Associated Press was shot on June 8, 1972, after South Vietnamese forces used napalm on an area where they suspected Communist forces were hiding. The little girl in the center, Kim Phúc, and the terror that she expressed in photo came to symbolize the war in the eyes of many Americans.

Kim Phúc was badly burned and suffered permanent nerve damage. She tried to study medicine when she grew up, but was forced drop out in order to become a propaganda tool of the Vietnamese government. Later, she was able to begin medical studies in Cuba. While traveling back from Cuba in 1992, her plane stopped in Canada to refuel. Kim and her husband used the opportunity to defect, and they became Canadian citizens in 1997.

In the years since she's escaped, Kim Phúc has spoken to thousands of US veterans, established a foundation to help children hurt by war, and served as a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Peace. In the links, you can read a biography of her and read or hear her life in her own words, courtesy of NPR.

Biography and Personal Narrative via Ace of Spades HQ | Images: AP and CBC, respectively

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It never ceases to amaze me how well people can bounce back from such horrors and be all the stronger for it. Every time I read about something like this I ask myself if I'd be able to recover from that and still be forgiving and hopeful. I always wind up thinking, "No, that would break me for good."
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