Icons of Horror: Three Enduring Images from the Vietnam War
Three photographs have helped create the collective memory of the Vietnam War. “The Burning Monk” came at a time when the United States’ involvement in Vietnam was just gaining momentum, but it put the conflict on the front pages of America’s newspapers. The “Saigon Execution” photo was made at the height of America’s military involvement, and its purported effect, especially as an anti-war text, grew to almost mythic proportions. “The Terror of War” was published as U.S. troops were being withdrawn from Vietnam, but it served as a reminder of the cost of Vietnam’s ongoing civil war — and of all wars. Each image in its own way focused attention on Vietnam, and each has lived on in the history of the war and of photojournalism.
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