Who is Napalm Girl?

Iris | 06 - 25 - 2023

Vietnam war napalm girl

Phan Thi Kim Phuc, famously known as the “Napalm Girl,” is a victim of the Vietnamese war. The Vietnamese Napalm girl was only nine years old when the picture of her running naked from the flames of the weapon fell. Nick Ut, an Associated Press Photographer, clicked this picture, spread it across the globe, and even flashed it in the headlines of several newspapers, as it represented the terrors of the Vietnamese war. The picture also won the Pulitzer Prize in the year 1973.

The horror- The Napalm girl history

When an American warplane dropped the weapon, children around the area ran, screaming in fear, and the young girl screamed in immense pain from the burns. Kim, the Napalm girl, turned naked as the bomb that dropped burnt down her clothes along with several layers of her skin. 

Napalm girl interview- From the survivor

Kim recalls the day and says she vividly remembers how she felt. She heard the plane and saw four bombs dropping mid-air. After the bomb dropped, it was fire everywhere, and she started running naked. She recalls how she screamed, “too hot, too hot,” while running (this is the captured moment in the photograph). The Vietnamese Napalm girl’s footage brings chills, even today.

The Napalm girl belonged to which country?
  • A. Vietnam
  • B. China
  • C. Japan
  • D. India

A soldier saw her crying in pain, gave her some water to drink, and poured some on her burnt skin, after which she passed out. She was taken to the hospital after and treated for third-degree burns. Kim underwent 16 surgeries and stayed in the hospital for almost a year.

  • The immediate reaction to the picture

Kim saw herself in the picture only after returning home from the hospital. She was in utter shock and did not understand the point of clicking and printing herself in such a way. Kim felt “ugly and ashamed” looking at the picture. She was not happy with the way the world got to see her. 

  • Purposelessness

Following the mental and physical trauma for years, Kim had suicidal thoughts. She had this question, “Why me” popping now and then. She did not understand the point of undergoing all the suffering. Followed by intense thoughts, Kim found answers to all of it through Christianity. She said her “enemy list” turned into her “prayer list.” She started forgiving and leaving behind all the hatred. 

  • Migrating

Kim meets her husband, and they eventually move to Canada to live their lives. She started getting recognition for her social work. She even delivered her speech at the Remembrance Service in 1996 in Washington, DC.

  • Currently

In the Napalm girl’s interview, when asked how is the girl in the picture right now, she said, “ I am doing great.” She calls herself a “survivor calling out for peace.” The girl who found the picture ugly and shameful now feels that the picture is a “powerful gift.” The Vietnamese Napalm girl now has a foundation for children who are victims of war, Kim Foundation International. 

Hope this blog helped in gaining knowledge about the Napalm girl. Check our quiz below, to test your understanding.

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