War is tragic, and no one who has not lived through it can begin to understand its horrors. Yet, perhaps that is one of the reasons I was so captivated by it as a child. I have always loved history, but I have always been specifically intrigued by military conflict. As a kid, the only books I read were history books. I would wore out the children’s history section in our local public library and proceeded to move on to the adult section. I would come home with a thick stack of history books, particularly those involving the World Wars and Vietnam, and there were occasions when my dad would start flipping through them and ban me from certain ones until I had reached a more mature age. I would pull them off the shelves and read them in the library anyhow.
Of all the images I saw and the stories I read, one of them that stuck with me is the image of Phan Thị Kim Phúc running naked and screaming down a Vietnamese road. It is the Pulitzer Prize-winning image the rest of the world had come to know as “Napalm Girl.”