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AP's 'napalm girl' to thank those who saved her on the photograph's 40th anniversary
TORONTO (AP) ' It was a chilling photograph that came to symbolize the horrors of the Vietnam War and, ultimately, helped end it.
It also saved the life of Kim Phuc, who was just a 9 years old when, on June 8, 1972, her village was attacked by south Vietnamese planes.
Phuc, who lives near Toronto with her family, says she will honor those who saved her at a dinner Friday to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the iconic photograph. They include AP photographer Huynh Cong "Nick" Ut, who snapped the shot, as well as other journalists, doctors and nurses who helped her get help and who treated her injuries.
Ut, who was 21 at the time, heard Phuc's screams as she ran down the road to escape her burning village, and snapped the photo that became famous around the world.
The 21-year-old Vietnamese photographer then drove the badly burned child to a small hospital, where he was told she was too far gone to help. He flashed his American press badge, demanded that doctors treat the girl and left assured that she would not be forgotten.
"I'm so grateful he was there," Phuc said. "He helped me and rushed me to the nearest hospital. He saved my life. He's my hero. This opportunity tonight I want to honor all of my personal heroes."