Saturday Evening Post #191: Photos that Make a Difference

There would be few people who lived through the Vietnam War years that would have not seen the photo of “The Napalm Girl”. And perhaps only a few would know of the name of the girl, or of the photographer who took the picture.

June 8, 1971, Nick Ut was on assignment for Associated Press near the village of Trang Bang. What happened next is well covered by pages all over the web and doesn’t need me to reblog it here.
I have thought long about bringing up the topic, but what I wanted to stress was the compassion of Nick toward the badly burned Kim Phuc.
Again his words are so much more profound than mine, but he managed to get the young girl to hospital and then transferred to a burns unit, and stayed to make sure she was well looked after.

Many have said it was one of the defining images of the war that helped turn the tide of support to bring the war to an end. Nick won a Pulitzer Prize for the photo, Horst Faas, the editor at AP ran the story, breaking a number of rules about nudity and content, but believed the story must be told.

So 50 years on here are several links to the story of the horror of Kim Phuc and the compassion of one man, determined to make a difference.

This one turned up on the ABC news site this morning and has a small video clip of Kim Phuc and Nick Ut reunion.

A more indepth article by Nick Ut from the Washington Post and it shows how he stayed in touch with her over the years.

And another from Joe McNally of a 40th anniversary shoot with Kim and her new baby. (I know I’ve linked to this in a previous blog, so apologise if you’ve seen it before.)

Kim started a Foundation dedicated to Healing Children of War and here is the site

I’ve chosen not to include a photograph for this blog page.
Some things pale into insignificance.

Speaking with kindness creates confidence,
thinking with kindness creates profoundness,
giving with kindness creates love.
Lao Tzu

4 thoughts on “Saturday Evening Post #191: Photos that Make a Difference

  1. Yes, that was such a powerful image of the terror of war and its innocent victims. The Joe McNally photograph says a great deal also. Thank you for reminding us of them both and of the compassion that we must never lose when warmongers start trying to beat their drums.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for dropping by Eleanor,
      When i first saw the Joe McNally article I was bought to tears, I did hesitate about republishing the link and must admit to a bit of choking up when I reviewed it again.
      For all the war photographs since Mathew Brady, they have had such little long lasting impact. We still see our screens and print media filled with the senseless destruction.
      “When will they ever learn”, Pete Seeger


  2. Thank you David for this profound reminder, especially resonating as we have another horrible war going on in Ukraine. How many more times…
    I followed the links and I was also deeply moved.
    “When will they ever learn”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Adam, thanks for the note. I was in two minds about publishing the story, yet again! But felt that Nick Ut’s compassion and Horst Faas’ courage in publishing needed to be acknowledged. Nick was not the only one to photograph that day, but Horst was the only editor that saw the enormity of the story.
      That Kim has gone on to create a Foundation is I suppose a bright light that comes from the moment.

      Nuff said

      Liked by 1 person

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