This photo was taken 37 years ago today by Associated Press photographer Nick Út.
Amazingly – Kim survived. She now lives in Canada and has two children. The photograph serves as a reminder that war is indiscriminate and it is the weak and vulnerable – i.e. civilians – who suffer most.
Kim Phúc and her family were residents of the village of Trang Bang, South Vietnam. On June 8, 1972, South Vietnamese planes, in coordination with the American military, dropped a napalm bomb on Trang Bang, which had been attacked and occupied by North Vietnamese forces. Phúc joined a group of civilians and South Vietnamese soldiers who were fleeing from the Cao Dai Temple to the safety of South Vietnamese held positions. A South Vietnamese Air Force pilot mistook the group for enemy soldiers and diverted to attack. The bombing killed two of Phúc’s cousins and two other villagers. Associated Press photographer Nick Út earned a Pulitzer Prize for his photograph of the aftermath. It also was chosen the World Press Photo of the Year for 1972. The image of Phúc running naked amidst the chaos became one of the most haunting images of the Vietnam War. In an interview many years later, she recalled she was yelling “Nong qua, nong qua” (“too hot, too hot”) in the picture.
After snapping the photograph, Út took Kim Phúc and the other injured children to a hospital in Saigon, where it was determined her burns were so severe that she probably would not survive. After a 14-month hospital stay and 17 surgical procedures, however, she was able to return home. Út continued to visit her until he was evacuated during the fall of Saigon, three years later. Source: Wikipedia
More about the picture and the history of the particants and where they are now, on the BBC website.
Other profoundly powerful and disturbing pictures include the burnt out, charred remains of an Iraqi soldier in the front window of a destroyed truck. Truly awful and initially regarded as “too horrific to print”.