SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. -- A young girl running down the road naked during the Vietnam War, burned by napalm and mouth open in a silent scream. This image is seared into the memories of those who recall the Vietnam War and its horror.
That 9-year-old girl, Kim Phuc Phan Thi, grew up to be a gracious, well-spoken woman, a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, and a dedicated peace activist. And Kim Phuc shared her story with the Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School community the week of Oct. 22 -- first at “Enduring Spirit,” the fall HIES Department Chair Speaker Series at the High Museum, and again during a talk to Upper School students on Oct. 23.
The tiny woman in a long, flowing, Vietnamese gown captivated both audiences as she talked about the fateful day on June 8, 1972, when she was badly burned by napalm dropped by South Vietnamese planes near her village, Trang Bang. Many villagers, including Kim Phuc, had taken shelter in a Buddhist pagoda, which was mistakenly bombed.