The world-famous photograph of the Vietnamese “napalm girl” was presented to the Pope today by the photographer. Photographer Nick Ut and now 59-year-old Kim Phuc attended the Pope‘s audience in Vatican City and both spoke to him for a few minutes. The pair wanted to reflect on how terrible wars are with the gift.
On June 8, 1972, Vietnamese Nick Ut took the world-famous photo of the then 9-year-old Kim Phuc, running naked down the street after a napalm bombing through South Vietnam. After taking the photo, Ut put away his camera and took Phuc to the hospital. That saved her life. In 1973, he won the World Press Photo and the Pulitzer Prize with the photo, which went into history books as the most famous image of the Vietnam War.
“Half a century later, as a survivor, I can say to myself that we don’t want war, but peace. The world needs peace,” Phuc said today. Ut spoke about the moment of the photo. “That morning it rained bombs on the city, everyone ran away.”
Ut took a few photos and stopped after shooting the later world-famous record. “Then I had to intervene. I threw water over Kim. I put as many children as possible on my bus and brought them to the hospital.”
During the attack, Phuc suffered third-degree burns to her back and arms. She stayed in hospital for a year. In 1984, she had surgery in Germany. Despite that surgery, she still has health problems.
In this photo, she shows her scars:
Pope Francis spoke out against war this morning. He also received two other war victims during the audience: two women from Ukraine.