NPR FOR THE DEAD: David Halberstam RIP

thich_quang_duc_-_self_immolation.jpgFRESH AIR
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Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Halberstam died yesterday from injuries sustained in a car crash. He was 73. We revisit his Fresh Air interviews from 1985, from 1993, and from 1999.

[Via Wikipedia] Thich Quang Duc (born Lam Van Tic in 1897 – June 11, 1963), was a Vietnamese Buddhist monk who burned himself to death at a busy Saigon intersection on June 11, 1963. His act of self-immolation, which was repeated by others, was witnessed by David Halberstam, a New York Times reporter, who wrote:

I was to see that sight again, but once was enough. Flames were coming from a human being; his body was slowly withering and shriveling up, his head blackening and charring. In the air was the smell of burning human flesh; human beings burn surprisingly quickly. Behind me I could hear the sobbing of the Vietnamese who were now gathering. I was too shocked to cry, too confused to take notes or ask questions, too bewildered to even think…. As he burned he never moved a muscle, never uttered a sound, his outward composure in sharp contrast to the wailing people around him.


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