Saigon Execution Misunderstood

By Desiree Tevez

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Pictures are said to say a thousand words, one picture can portray more than we can ever hope with words. For Eddie Adams and his iconic photo of a Saigon execution 50 years ago, his photograph is no exception.

It has been 50 years since the iconic photo made its way into the press, yet it remains as what is perhaps the most powerful war image in history. The reasons being that there is so much behind that one image, something that serves as a lesson. For many people in America, Adam’s photo essentially helped to bolster support for the anti-war movement. However, was it really just some propaganda ploy to win over support? After combing through several articles about the infamous photo, I found one thing in common for a majority of them. Many of the articles mainly focused on how iconic the photo was and what it meant in terms of ending U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. To Eddie Adams, the photo was a constant reminder of the life he ruined.

It is easy for people to misinterpret things, especially a photograph. After the release of the Saigon execution photo, people instantly viewed General Loan as nothing more than a brutal war leader with no ounce of mercy. That wasn’t who he was at all. To Eddie, who befriended Loan, he was a true warrior. Adams himself has mentioned multiple times how people have to put themselves in Loan’s perspective to at least begin to understand.

We can all learn a lot from Eddie Adams and his advice to make an effort to understand. Today, that very understanding is something that society often lacks. So many things can be deemed controversial just because of misinterpretations. It is important that people try to put themselves in another’s perspective. This applies not only in the world of politics, but in everyday life.

1 Comment

One Response to “Saigon Execution Misunderstood”

  1. Mary Shine on February 9th, 2018 11:35 am

    I can see how the misunderstanding could have formed because the image does seem to be worthy of those misinterpretations but this article informs readers to “never judge a book by it’s cover”. I feel that this article has taught me something important such as the idea that not everything is as it seems.

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