I last saw her over 47 years ago, on June 8, 1972, when she was 9 years old. I only saw her once, through the lens of Pulitizer Prize winning Associated Press photographer Huỳnh Công Út (known as Nick Ut). All I knew of her was one photo that I’ve seen numerous times through the years. Once was enough. Her name is Phan Thi Kim Phuc. She goes by Kim Phuc. She was born in Vietnam. Now she’s a Canadian.
Kim Phuc founded the Kim Foundation International, which seeks healing for the children of war. Last year, she was awarded Germany’s Dresden Peace Prize. I saw her last Thursday on the PBS Newshour. She was featured in their “Brief But Spectacular” segment. It is brief–less than five minutes. You can watch it online here. The full title is “Kim Phuc’s Brief But Spectacular take on pain and forgiveness.” She tells how her faith has given her peace and joy through the power of forgiveness. You can read more about that in a 2018 Christianity Today article.
If you don’t remember the photo of the famous “Napalm Girl,” you can find it at the articles or the video linked in this post. I would rather include the more recent photo of Kim Phuc below. That’s the way I want to remember her. Communities and nations can be torn apart by war. But, there is in this Universe a mystical power of healing. I can’t explain it. I can point to it. I’ve tasted it more times than I can count.
This is one of those times.