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Image of War, Symbol of Peace

  • Date Submitted: 04/15/2010 07:58 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 76.6 
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Image of War, Symbol of Peace

There is a famous picture from the American War in Vietnam. In this photograph picture, the sky is dark and full of smoke. There are five terrified Vietnamese children. They are running down a road. Behind them, Vietnamese soldiers and news workers follow. The photograph’s central character is a 9 year old girl. She is running without clothes on. She is burned and in pain. The girl’s name is Phan Thi Kim Phuc.
The photograph has appeared in newspapers all over the world. It has also won many awards. For years, the picture has been a famous image of war. In the photograph, Phuc represents the pain, suffering and evil of battle. However, today, Phuc has devoted her life to being a symbol of peace. Today’s Spotlight is on Phan Thi Kim Phuc.
On June 8th, 1972, the South Vietnamese army accidently bombed Phan Thi Kim Phuc’s small village of Trang Bang. Phuc, her family and other villagers hid together in a temple at the edge of the village. When the airplanes came near, soldiers told the people to run. Phuc was a slow runner. She ran at the back of the crowd. Suddenly, there was a loud noise. A bomb exploded behind Phuc. She fell to the ground. She felt great heat on her arms and back. She was burning.
The bomb that hit Phuc was a napalm bomb. Napalm bombs are often called fire bombs. They contain a liquid that burns anything it touches. When the bomb fell, the napalm covered Phuc’s back, neck and arms. She was badly burned. However, Phuc got up off the ground and continued to run away. She ran down the road, where some news reporters were standing. This is when photographer Nick Ut took the famous picture of Phuc. As she ran near Nick, he heard her shouting. She said in Vietnamese, “too hot, too hot!”
After Nick heard Phuc’s words, he ran toward her. A soldier gave her water and Nick covered her body. At the request of Phuc’s family, Nick transported Phuc many kilometers to the nearest hospital.
For more than a month, Phuc remained...


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