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Woman from striking Vietnam photo to speak

On nearly the 40th anniversary of a napalm bombing of her village, Kim Phuc will be a guest at Liberty Baptist Church.

May 31, 2012|By Imran Vittachi
  • The photo shows village children running in horror with burns to their bodies after their village was subjected to a napalm aerial attack on June 8, 1972. The photograph is credited to a Vietnamese photographer Nick Ut, who was recognized with the Pulitzer Prize for documenting this moment. After taking this photo, he assisted to provide medical attention to the victim Kim Phuc, who survived the attack.
The photo shows village children running in horror with… (Courtesy Emilio…)

A June 1972 news photo of a naked girl fleeing the scene of a napalm air strike in South Vietnam singed its way into the collective memory as one of the most haunting images from the Vietnam War.

Through his lens, Associated Press photographer Huynh Cong "Nick" Ut captured the scene of children fleeing from the scene of the strike on the village of Trang Bang, along Route 1, the highway linking Saigon to Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

One of the children in the photograph, taken on June 8, 1972, was 9-year-old Kim Phuc. Burned by napalm, she had torn off all her clothes to prevent further injury. She would survive the attack, and the photo that made her famous as the "girl in the picture" went on to earn Ut the 1973 Pulitzer Prize for Spot News Photography.

At 10 a.m. Sunday, Phuc is scheduled to appear as a guest speaker at Liberty Baptist Church in Newport Beach, where she will talk about her experience as she reflects on the approaching 40th anniversary of the napalm strike.

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And, on the eve of her visit to Orange County, K-ABC TV is to broadcast a special 30-minute program with David Ono about Kim Phuc. "Witness: The Power of a Picture" will air at 6:30 p.m. Saturday on Channel 7.

Pastor Dwight Tomlinson said that he and his wife were longtime friends of Kim Phuc, who now lives in Canada. She had twice visited the church, at 1000 Bison Ave., in 2003 and 2007, and accepted Tomlinson's invitation to come again for the 40th anniversary.

For more information, visit libertybaptistchurch.org.

imran.vittachi@latimes.com

Twitter: @ImranVittachi

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