〒180-0006 東京都武蔵野市中町2-3-5 IIHA武蔵野1階
Dear MEL Topic Readers,
‘Napalm Girl’ at 50: The story of the Vietnam War’s defining photo
Napalm burns at temperatures around 1,000 degrees Celsius for a long time, and is easily dispersed and sticks to the object, which causes severe burns on the object’s skin or surface. It was used in incendiary bombs in the latter half of the 21st century, especially during the Vietnam War. The use of napalm bombs against civilians was banned in 1980.
Born in 1963 in South Vietnam, Phan Thị Kim Phúc was a nine-year girl when her village, then occupied by North Vietnamese forces, was bombed by South Vietnamese planes by mistake in 1972. Four villagers, including two of her cousins, were killed by the napalm bombs. She suffered severe burns, panicked, and was running naked out of the bombed church when an AP photographer Nick Ut shot a photo of her and other children. After taking the sensational photo, the photographer carried her and the other children to the hospital for treatment. The photo shocked the world and won the Pulitzer Prize but fell short of stopping the war. The running and crying girl later moved to Canada, wrote a book about her experiences, and established an international foundation to provide aid to children of war. Now, 50 years after the incident, she is grateful to have the opportunity to work for peace. As for the photographer, he is retired but still believes in the power of conflict photography.
Enjoy reading the article and seeing the photos of what happened in Vietnam a half-century ago.