Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Research Writing Exercise: Kiaya Royster

On June 8th 1972, a small village named Trang Bang in South Vietnam is where a group of Vietnamese civilians were trying to escape while North and South Vietnamese soldiers fought for control of the village. A nine-year old girl remembers hearing soldiers screaming they needed to leave the temple where her family had been living for three days. Her name is Kim Phuc, and on this day she would lose two of her cousins and have her life altered forever. She looked up and saw the bomb dropping down towards the temple. 
What was happening in the sky was a plane of the Vietnamese Air Force 518th Squadron, dropped one bomb with a mixture of napalm and white phosphorus jelly over the village after mistaking the civilians for enemy forces. This air strike was a mistake that sent men women and small children running for their lives. Napalm is defined as a highly flammable sticky jelly used in incendiary bombs and flamethrowers, consisting of gasoline thickened with special soaps, meaning everyone it came in contact with was having their clothes and skin melted away. That is exactly what Kim Phuc had to do after she was hit in her left arm first, she tore off all her clothes and with the rest of the people from the temple went running down Route 1 screaming "TOO HOT! TOO HOT!". That is were veteran war photographer Nick Ut captured the picture that has been seen around the world. He claims he cried when he saw her running, and after getting the shot gathered all the children seen in the picture and took them to safety. Present day Kim is married with two kids and has asylum in Canada. She says at first she hated the pictures and wanted to die because of what the Napalm did to her, but now she is thankful that it was captured so that it would never have been forgotten. 
A reunion of Nick Ut(far right) Kim Phuc(middle) and the
Dr. My Le that treated Kim for two days after the attack
(far left).


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