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    David Burnett — who was loading his camera when fellow photographer Nick Ut captured the famous “napalm girl” image in Vietnam in 1972 — reflects on missing that moment.

    David Burnett, then a 25-year-old photojournalist, captured this image of the aftermath of the napalm attack at Trang Bang in Vietnam in summer 1972. “It was real life, unfolding at the pace of life,” he writes. David Burnett / Contact Press Images

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    Iconic images of the Vietnam war

    In an article for the Washington Post photojournalist David Burnett, who was with Napal Girl photographer Nick Ut when he took the photo, describes how he missed the opportunity because he was busy loading more film:

    A Vietnamese woman carries her children and possessions on bamboo pole as she tries to escape fierce fighting in the Cholon suburb of Saigon during the Viet Cong Mini Tet offensive of the Vietnam War in May 1968 --- Image by © Nik Wheeler/Corbis

    Nick Ut took this image seconds after his famous shot, of Kim Phuc running down the street. Television crews and South Vietnamese troops surround 9-year-old Kim Phuc on Route 1 near Trang Bang, South Vietnam, after she was burned by a misdirected aerial napalm attack, June 8, 1972. (Nick Ut/AP)

    Zippo lighters reveal the hopes of and fears of a life under fire...

    Vietnam

    US Army Captain Robert Bacon leading a patrol during the early years of the Vietnam War, by Larry Burrows 1964

    On this day in LIFE Magazine — June 12, 1964: Ugly War in Vietnam See related: One Week’s Toll: American Dead in Vietnam

    Prisoner - Vietnam War

    Vietnam veteran watching the Chattanooga Armed Forces Day parade in 1976. This photograph won a Pulitzer Prize.

    Vietnam. 1966

    Kim Phuc was pictured in a world-famous and iconic photograph from the Vietnam war, running naked from an airborne attack, horribly burned with napalm, in June of 1972. Since then, Kim has found peace, and a message she can offer, borne of her suffering. She runs The Kim Foundation International, and she acts as a Goodwill Ambassador for UNESCO. She has transformed into a viable, visible symbol of peace and hope. Hers is an important story of resilience, courage, and forgiveness.

    March for peace (Washington, D.C.): I won't fight in Vietnam (1965)

    This collection of Vietnam War lighters was assembled and sourced by Bradford Edwards for his book “Vietnam Zippos” and the 282 lighters were recently available for auction. The engravings range from sentimental to shocking, and together they paint a unique, personalized picture of the U.S. troops during Vietnam.

    Don McCullin, US Army chaplain evacuates an elderly Vietnamese woman, Tet Offensive, Hué, South Vietnam (February 1968) © Don McCullin / Contact Press Images

    Vietnam War Memorial

    Life Magazine, June 1969 issue pictured photos of the 242 soldiers who died in one week in the Vietnam War. The visual stunned America to face the loss of such vibrant, young men pictured on page after page.

    04 Apr 1968, Near Khe Sanh, South Vietnam --- 4/4/1968-Near Khe Sanh, South Vietnam- First cavalry men, many with head wounds, wait to be evacuated from a hilltop along route #9, during their advance toward Khe Sanh.

    .Vietnam

    Kim Phuc was pictured in a world-famous and iconic photograph from the Vietnam war, running naked from an airborne attack, horribly burned with napalm, in June of 1972. Since then, Kim has found peace, and a message she can offer, borne of her suffering. She runs The Kim Foundation International, and she acts as a Goodwill Ambassador for UNESCO. She has transformed into a viable, visible symbol of peace and hope. Hers is an important story of resilience, courage, and forgiveness.