A "crippled but capable" woman


 

   Huỳnh Thị Kiều Thu, aka Út Hải, was born in Đức Phổ District, Quảng Ngãi Province on February 3, 1951. She joined the revolutionary movement in her early age, becoming a member of the Vietnamese commando unit in Sài Gòn. Arrested by the former Sài Gòn regime at the age of 18, probably the golden year of a woman’s life, she was put in various prisons, including Côn Đảo Prison, which have been dubbed “the hell on earth.” Years of brutal torture in prisons left her with several serious injuries. In 2004, when she was in her final years of battle against cancer and thought that she could not live much longer, she made a decision, without any hesitation, to cycle from Hồ Chí Minh City to Hà Nội in order to visit Hồ Chí Minh Mausoleum. Until her death in June 2012, this former political prisoner made a total of six cycle trips across Viet Nam, even though she could only ride the bicycle with her right hand since the left one was completely paralyzed.

 

   Her epic journeys made her an obvious example of hope and fortitude. In 2010 and 2011, she officially served as an ambassadress of a local charitable program called “Hành trình xanh” (The Green Journey) so that her iron will could be spread across the society. Also, she was a close associate of the War Remnants Museum and a witness of the past conflict. Her true stories help our local and foreign visitors, especially the youth, better understand the consequences of the war that the Vietnamese people were forced to go through. Painful though the Viet Nam War was, the people of this small country still made it back with resilience and indomitability. They could be crippled but capable individuals. Thu died, but her hope and fortitude still live forever after in the hearts of the younger generations.

 

 
   
  Date 16/04/2021  

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