When one considers the Vietnam War, one can examine the actions of major participants such as Ho Chi Minh, Ngo Dinh Diem, Lyndon B. Johnson, Henry Kissinger and Richard Nixon, of military leaders and tacticians such as Generals Giap and Westmoreland and debate the rights and wrongs of those actions, but one should never lose sight of the fact that in war, people are killed and injured.
The Pulitzer Prize winning photograph below was taken by Nick Ut forty years ago today. It remains one of the most iconic images of the Vietnam War.
We now know that the naked girl in the picture, running with her skin burning due to napalm dropped from a South Vietnamese Skyraider plane, was nine year old was Kim Phuc. As well as the photograph, ITN shot film showing what had occurred just before and after this photograph. It can clearly be seen in this video that large parts of Kim Phuc’s skin was severely burnt. Fortunately her face was unharmed.
Kim Phuc survived the attack and now, 49 years old, lives in Toronto with her husband. She has told her story many times. On Saturday, the Guardian published an Associated Press news report containing more information on the “napalm girl” and how that famous photograph has affected her life. It is worth reading.