FORGIVENESS

4 min read

Dear Editor:
Next June 8 is the 43 anniversary of the photo where a girl appears naked and terrified, running down a dusty road in a village in Vietnam, when she was 9 years old.

This image, which perpetuated the horrors of the Vietnam War, has appeared many times through various media and, especially all the TV networks in the world. The girl named Kim Phúc, is now an ambassador for UNESCO and runs a foundation to help the children victims of war and violence.

Far left her 17 operations to cure burns that Napalm caused in 65% of her tiny body. Nick Ut, author of the photo that won the Pulitzer in 1973, took her to the clinic and saved his life. She remained hospitalized for over a year.

She fainted every time the nurses put her in the bathtub and cut the dead skin of her wounded and small body. But she did not die. "Inside me, she says, was a small, strong girl, who wanted to live, and I got over it all, thanks to the love of my family and God."

One of the lessons she has learned from this experience is to forgive. When she read for the first time, the words of Jesus to "love your enemies", she did not know how. I’m human, I have much pain and many scars. She thought it would be impossible. "I had to pray a lot and it was not easy but in the end I got it," she testifies, moved.

In 1996, the Foundation for the Memory of Vietnam Veterans asked Kim Phúc to travel to Washington, where she could talk to one of the crew who were involved in the attack on Trang Bang, her village.

Kim Phúc publicly forgave him saying "Forgiveness is more powerful than any weapon in the world".
"My picture is a symbol of war, but my life is a symbol of love, hope and forgiveness," she said. Forgiveness exalts the spirit and gives strength to go on.

clementeferrerrosello@gmail.com
Author and journalist Clemente Ferrer has led a distinguished career in Spain in the fields of advertising and public relations. He is currently President of the European Institute of Marketing.


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