Written by Lyn Dobrin, firstname.lastname@example.org Friday, 08 February 2013 00:00
The world did not know her name, but it could never forget her face.
Kim Phuc Phan Thi was the little girl, her arms outstretched, running naked and screaming, down a dirt road, in Vietnam, in 1972, fire and the war raging behind her. The picture by AP photographer Nick Ut shocked the world, and helped turn the tide of public opinion in the U.S. against the Vietnam war.
Last week, Kim Phuc was at Friends Academy, in Locust Valley, talking about her experiences, her life, and the message of hope and peace she carries around the world as a a goodwill ambassador for UNESCO, a position she took in 1996.
Using a poster she created, Kim Phuc told the story of her journey from a terrified nine year old to a gentle and charismatic woman who is working to make the world a safer place. The bottom half of the poster contains the iconic photograph by Ut, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his picture.
“I saw the airplanes when I ran out of the temple where we had sought shelter,” she told the audience. “I saw four bombs and suddenly there was fire everywhere around me.”
Sixty-five percent of her body was burned by the napalm.
Ut took her to a hospital and eventually she was sent to another hospital where she spent 14 months in rehabilitation. Based on that experience, she decided to study to be a doctor and ten years later she was a student at a university in what is now Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon. But it was not to be. The Vietnamese government, finding out she was alive, used her for propaganda and cut short her education. She says that the emotional pain of not being able to realize her dream was worse than the physical pain.
In 1992 she sought asylum in Canada and today is a Canadian citizen, married and with two sons, Thomas, 18, and Steven 15.
The top half of the poster is a photo of Kim Phuc whispering into baby Thomas’ ear. “I have to let him know what happened,” she said, noting that as he is listening, he is looking forward to the future. The scaring on her shoulders from the fire is visible; she still suffers a great deal of pain.
She says her goal is to let people know the horrors of war and also to bring her vision of the beautiful world that could happen if we lived with love.
Kim Phuc does more than talk. She is the founder of The Kim Foundation International, a non-profit that seeks to heal the wounds suffered by children during war and to restore hope and happiness by providing medical and psychological assistance. The foundation supports projects such as a refugee camp in Tajikistan and a hospital for mothers and children in northern Uganda.
“We can’t change the past,” she said, “but with love, we can heal the future.”
Wednesday, 11 December 2013 00:00
Hicksville residents, business owners, and stakeholders came out to a Northwest Hicksville Brownfield Opportunity Area (BOA) open house last week where they learned more about proposed revitalization and provided feedback on the draft pre-nomination study.
The Northwest BOA is bounded by the Northern State Parkway to the north, Old Country Road to the south, Cantiague Lane to the west and 106/107 to the east. The area includes major Hicksville landmarks including the Broadway Mall, train station, post office, Cantiague Park, Burns Avenue School, several businesses and manufacturers, and numerous residential homes. Several of the properties in the corridor lie vacant or underused, which identifies the area as eligible for the BOA program, which is meant to provide communities with money, land use and redevelopment tools for revitalization.
Thursday, 05 December 2013 00:00
Although Fuel Cafe is six years old, it's been a work in progress since new owners took over one-and one-half years ago. The main part of the cafe was recently redecorated and an adjoining room is soon to open. And though there's been several changes, the concept remains the same—this is a place where healthy and hearty food is served. The food is grilled or baked, never fried, and they do not use microwaves so everything is made to order.
With a menu of over 170 items and dozens of combinations of meats, vegetables, bread and more, be prepared to do a lot of reading to figure out what your meal will be.
Thursday, 05 December 2013 00:00
As they come off their most successful season in 30 years, the Hicksville Boys basketball team faces a challenge in replicating last year's success. The 2012-13 season saw the Comets compile a 15-5 record and had their season ending in the Nassau County semifinals to rival Baldwin. According to Head Coach Phil Essigman, who is entering his 14th season with the varsity team, the team will feature only two returning players from last season. Last year’s team was incredibly deep and experienced and it is part of the “rollercoaster”, as he described it, of high school sports for teams to go through periods of grooming inexperienced players.
Wednesday, 27 November 2013 00:00
Hicksville’s Mary-Jo Depaoli, and Nao Joe scored with awards on Sunday, November 17 in the 5th annual Blue Ribbon Run for Prostate Cancer, a 5 Kilometer road race that started and finished at Syosset-Woodbury Community Park.Depaoli crossed the finish line with a time of 23:01, earning her second place honors in the women’s 35-39 age group, and Joe finished the race with a time of 28:36, to earn third place in the women’s 30-34 age group, A record breaking total of 414 runners and walkers crossed the finish line.
The race was held by the Town of Oyster Bay and raised money to help in the fight against prostate cancer. Free prostate cancer screenings were offered on-site, as well as informative urology and men’s health exhibits, refreshments and prizes for participants.