Kim Phuc Phan Thai, the iconic girl in the picture that helped change public opinion about the Vietnam War, was in the news recently because she spoke to burn victims and burn specialists in New York City, on the physical struggle that she went through over the decades since that photograph.
She says, “I cannot change something that happened to me, but I can change the meaning.”
Her message of hope should resonate with all people, but especially for those dealing with burns and trauma—like those from the current War. Kim Phuc Phan Thai beat the odds of surviving at the time, but now doctors stress the dramatic improvements made in burn care.
In a report my HerNews, Kim Phuc Phan Thai says she still has pain, because so many of her nerves were damages. A healthy lifestyle, exercise, and upbeat attitude help her focus away from the pain. She says, “The pain I consider as my protection. It humbles me, and helps me to never take my life for granted.”
It is amazing to me to think of what she went through and the power of the image. She and the photographer truly had no idea of the magnitude of what that image would capture. Especially no idea of how the world would react to it. It is an amazing feat that she survived, but even more amazing that this picture will be here forever; reminding people of the horrors of war on innocent people. Remembering that in war there are no bystanders—everyone is affected.
If it were not for the photograph of Kim Phuc Phan Thai the solidification of the anti-war sentiment against the Vietnam War would not have been as intense or happened as early.
I asked my Dad, he remembers.
Peace, Love & The Power of the Image