Yesterday, Feb. 1, was the 50th anniversary of an event that was captured in one of the most prominent enduring images of the Vietnam War. On Feb. 1, 1968, Eddie Adams caught the moment that S. Vietnamese brigadier general Loan executed a suspected North Vietnamese infiltrator in the street in Saigon.
Plenty of people have written about the image, the circumstances around it and its place in history. I don’t need to repeat their work. It’s worth a revisit though because of the place this photograph has, the weight it’s perceived to have had and the thoughts of the photographer who made the image (and won a Pulitzer because of it.) Adams said two people died at the moment of the picture. The prisoner’s death is obvious. Adams referred to the impact the image had on Loan as well. It changed his life.
Some articles about the photograph: