Forgiveness - A Personal Essay, by Kim Phuc

Reply Mon 30 Jun, 2008 08:24 pm
Reply Mon 30 Jun, 2008 08:28 pm
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Reply Tue 1 Jul, 2008 05:14 am
I've read her essay over several times. I think this woman has recovered from the Vietnam War more completely than I have, and I didn't go over there.
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Reply Tue 1 Jul, 2008 05:25 am
Whatever else is said here, I know faith and forgiveness to be powerful things. Beautiful, edgar.
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Reply Sun 6 Jun, 2010 02:33 am
1972-The screaming, running little girl in the B&W photo is her. I have seen this pic in the past, it is quite famous. It is better to forgive because hate will eat you alive. I am happy for her.
1986-she was granted permission to continue her studies in Cuba and met future husband Bui Huy Toan, another Vietnamese student.
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. They now live in Ajax, Ontario and have two children.
On October 22, 2004, Phúc was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Laws from York University in Toronto, Ontario for her work to support child victims of war around the world. She was awarded the Order of Ontario. On October 27, 2005, she was awarded an honorary degree in Law from Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario.

Pretty amazing.

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Reply Sun 6 Jun, 2010 06:34 am
She is a remarkable person. I still marvel that she came through the ordeals and even thrives these days.
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Reply Tue 1 Feb, 2011 07:35 am
Beautiful and also very inspiring, edgar.
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Reply Wed 2 Feb, 2011 05:29 am
edgarblythe wrote:

On June 8, 1972, I ran out from Cao Dai temple in my village, Trang Bang, South Vietnam; I saw an airplane getting lower and then four bombs falling down. I saw fire everywhere around me. Then I saw the fire over my body, especially on my left arm. My clothes had been burned off by fire.

I was 9 years old but I still remember my thoughts at that moment: I would be ugly and people would treat me in a different way. My picture was taken in that moment on Road No. 1 from Saigon to Phnom Penh. After a soldier gave me some drink and poured water over my body, I lost my consciousness.

Several days after, I realized that I was in the hospital, where I spent 14 months and had 17 operations.

It was a very difficult time for me when I went home from the hospital. Our house was destroyed; we lost everything and we just survived day by day.

Although I suffered from pain, itching and headaches all the time, the long hospital stay made me dream to become a doctor. But my studies were cut short by the local government. They wanted me as a symbol of the state. I could not go to school anymore.

The anger inside me was like a hatred as high as a mountain. I hated my life. I hated all people who were normal because I was not normal. I really wanted to die many times.

I spent my daytime in the library to read a lot of religious books to find a purpose for my life. One of the books that I read was the Holy Bible.

In Christmas 1982, I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal savior. It was an amazing turning point in my life. God helped me to learn to forgive �- the most difficult of all lessons. It didn't happen in a day and it wasn't easy. But I finally got it.

Forgiveness made me free from hatred. I still have many scars on my body and severe pain most days but my heart is cleansed.

Napalm is very powerful but faith, forgiveness and love are much more powerful. We would not have war at all if everyone could learn how to live with true love, hope and forgiveness.

If that little girl in the picture can do it, ask yourself: Can you?

This essay was produced by Anne Penman for the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. NPR's This I Believe is independently produced by Jay Allison and Dan Gediman with John Gregory and Viki Merrick.


I can't see the essay on my screen, but the quote function shows it. Must have something to do with my computer.
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