Saturday, June 2, 2012

A Vietnam war image to think about

The horror, all captured in one image. An image that helped end the war.




The image of 9 year old Kim Phuc, running from her village in 1972, after a napalm attack that burned her cotton clothes off and through her skin. She was yelling "too hot, too hot". I'm tearing up even now, for many reasons:

You can just tell that her clothes have been burnt off her with the smouldering village in the background.
The pain on her face and the childlike flapping of her hands
A similar pain on the face of the young boy in foreground, suggesting the pain to be more than just physical
The weird normality of a naked girl running in the streets indicating that dignity had no place
A sister fleeing with her younger brother indicating we're tearing families apart
A toddler looking back at the ruins of where he lived
The workmanlike gait of the soldiers whose job it was to just get this done
These things happen all around the world and it pays me to remember this as I ponder my first world problems.

Phuc is 49 and living in Canada. Some great photos are not just taken, they seem to be like a gift from the cosmos.

Update:

Phuc met the queen last night, as the photo turns 40.


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