The name Norman Morrison appears often as a hushed aside in discussions of self-sacrifice; it is a footnote in the history of the Viet nam War.
On November 2, 1965, Morrison, a 31-year-old Quaker from Baltimore, drove with his one-year-old daughter, Emily, to Washington, D.C. In protest of the war, he doused himself in kerosene and set himself on fire outside Robert McNamara’s Pentagon office. Emily was unharmed.
Morrison’s self-immolation was seen as both a hopeful and a desperate act, sparking feelings of empathy and outrage across a nation. At the time, little was known of his life other than his religious affiliation and the graphic nature of his protest. Even less was known about the family he left behind.