The photo of a dead 3-year-old Syrian boy on a Turkish beach captures everything we don’t want to see when we tap our phones or open our newspapers: a vicious civil war, a surge of refugees, the death of an innocent.
The disturbing image taken this week brings to mind other, similarly haunting photos of crises. Often they revolve around children. Will the photo of the Syrian child be like other seared-in-our-memory photographs?
Phan Thi Kim Phuc, centre, with her clothes torn off, flees with other South Vietnamese children after a misdirected aerial napalm attack on suspected Viet Cong hiding places on June 8, 1972. Kim Phuc became a symbol of the civilian suffering of the Vietnam War. Picture: AP Photo/Nick Ut
This late 2003 image shows an unidentified detainee standing on a box with a bag on his head and wires attached to him, at the Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad.
In June of 1963, Vietnamese Mahayana Buddhist monk Thích Quang Duc burned himself to death in Saigon to protest against persecution of Buddhists by the South Vietnamese government. The photograph aroused worldwide outrage and hastened the end of the Diem government.
In this June 5, 1989, photo, a Chinese protestor blocks a line of tanks heading east on Beijing’s Cangan Blvd. June 5, 1989 in front of the Beijing Hotel. The man, calling for an end to the violence and bloodshed against pro-democracy demonstrators, was pulled away by bystanders, and the tanks continued on their way.
A 17-year-old African-American civil rights activist is attacked by police dogs after defying an anti-parade ordinance in Birmingham, Alabama, May 3, 1963.
In this March 31, 2004 file photo, Iraqis chant anti-American slogans as charred bodies hang from a bridge over the Euphrates River in Fallujah west of Bahgdad. AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed
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