I guess that today’s blog falls into the baby boomers album of formative memories category again. Today’s images are so raw and intense however, that I am pretty sure that they will speak to everyone. Fifty years ago tomorrow, June 11, 1963, Malcolm Browne of the Associated Press covered a protest rally of Buddhist monks in Saigon protesting the oppressive actions of the South Vietnamese government against Buddhists. Suddenly Buddhist monk Thich Quang Duc sat down and his fellow monks doused him with five gallons of gasoline. Then Buddhist Thich Quang Duc lit a match.
It is as if the images are still burned into my retina and I still cringe reflexively when I see them. It was 1963 and it took fifteen hours for the shock wave to spread all around the globe. The event with pivotal in President Kennedy’s decision to escalate US involvement in the War in Vietnam. And as they say, the rest is history, very sad history.