"Linh, Kim Phuc's photo (The Girl in the Photograph--Trang Bang, June 8, 1972) is a result of a camera's click; and Nick Ut was in the right place at the right time. Your book of poetry, Dear Daddy, comes from your blessed heart and soul."

--Kim Phuc's mother in a phone conversation from Toronto, Canada, October 25, 1997 

The Unforgettable Photographer

(Eddie Adams)  

A few-foot by few-foot black-and-white photo

Hung dominantly at the "Newseum" in Arlington, Virginia

The caption said, "A South Vietnam officer executed a Viet Cong prisoner"

Around the world, the APís photo captioned the same

One is taken aback, his respect for the APís neutrality

Struggling to justify the news-caption game.

Remember the photo of the nine-year-old girl

Running naked down the highway

When her  Trang Bang village was being under siege by Viet Cong?

The caption only said, "The girl is burned by napalm..."

Ignoring the VC atrocities behind the dark smoke,

Which the camera's lens could not see;

The photographer never had a chance to say a word

Defending the Americans who defended his South Vietnam

His employer, the Associated Press, had the upper hand

They hired him...

Thatís life.

But a courageous man named Eddie Adams;

He is not just an unfeeling human

He feels the injustice his photo did to Americans

He told the truth:

"The picture lies..."

New York Times, October 11, 1995

That particular Viet Cong captain had just murdered a family;

Hanoiís legacy of Tet Offensive.

Sir, Mr. Eddie Adams, you are my Unforgettable Photographer...

Linh Duy Vo
(The Boy in the Poem)
The day after Fatherís Day 1999 ©

Note: The Viet Cong in the AP's photo is Captain Bay Lop, aka, Nguyen Van Lem, born 1933.  He had just killed a police major who was one of Loan's best friends and knifed his entire family.




The Honor

  "The Skyraider"



© Copyright by Linh Duy Vo.   All rights reserved.