Besides listening in on Phuc's speech, burn survivors could attend workshops designed to empower with practical information, such as make-up tips to enhance the appearance of affected skin, or hear other survivors' stories of personal triumph over pain.
For example, a number of firefighters and ex-military personnel spoke of their experiences with burn injuries during the course of their work. So did CBS journalist Kimberly Dozier, who was injured while reporting in the Middle East. They also heard from burn survivor and Iraq War veteran J.R. Martinez, currently an actor on the soap opera All My Children.
For her part, Phuc said the events that changed her young life are as vivid today as they were on June 8, 1972, when bombs rained down on her hometown of Trang Bang, north of Saigon.
"They saw that the temple will be next, and they told us to run," said Phuc, whose family had been hiding in the village temple grounds.
"I was in the middle of the group," remembered Phuc, "my brother, my sister, my cousin in front of me, my aunt, my uncles behind. And I stopped."
There was the sound of American bombs falling, "and after I saw the fire everywhere around me," Phuc said. "I was so scared. And all my clothes just burned off by the fire. And I saw all my burns. And people screaming: 'Nong qua! Nong qua!' 'Too hot! Too hot!'"
Two of Phuc's cousins died from injuries sustained in the bombing, but Kim was helped by photographer Ut, who helped her get medical attention at a South Vietnamese hospital. She then received more than a year of treatment at the American-funded Barsky Hospital in Saigon.
Phuc beat the odds and survived her ordeal. However, Hearst Burn Center director Dr. Roger Yurt stressed that b
All rights reserved