Top 5 Heart Breaking Pictures Of Suffering Children Ever Taken

5. Iraqi Girl Crying After Her Family Died At A Checkpoint

Iraqi girl at checkpoint
Iraqi girl (Photo credit: taringa.net)

Title: Iraqi Girl at Checkpoint, Tal Afar, Iraq, 2005

The blood-spattered, five-year-old girl at the Iraqi checkpoint showed a glimpse of a wider story. Samar Hassan’s parents were driving her brother back from the hospital when US soldiers opened fire. The soldiers had feared that the car was full of suicide bombers and gunned them down.

Only afterward did they see that it was a civilian family. These kinds of arbitrary civilian casualties were common during the Iraq War because soldiers were given liberal rights to take any means necessary to protect themselves.

In 2005, photographer Chris Hondros took one of the few images of this nature that reached popular imagination in the West. He delivered the picture despite orders to keep it. The order was due to the tight control over war photography at the time and because photographers found it too dangerous to travel there. Hondros died in the 2011 civil war in Libya.

The child’s face represented the civilian’s pain during the war. It is one of the most important photographs of the Iraq War. It also sowed skepticism in the public when they saw the people they were supposedly trying to help. The photo reached the Pentagon, and policies about checkpoints were changed due to the image.

4. Vulture Waiting For Girl To Die

Vulture and the Little Girl
Vulture and the Little Girl (Photo credit: rarehistoricalphotos.com)

Title: The Vulture and the Little Girl, Ayod, South Sudan, 1993

Pictures can tell the truth with light and timing. In the bright day, the child was too weak to stand. She was only one of many in a South Sudan that was gradually starving to death. A vulture landed nearby to watch and wait for her to die.With the photographer nearby and the child still crawling, the vulture did not draw nearer. The girl supposedly made it to the feeding center nearby. Yet the picture became a “metaphor of Africa’s despair.”People knew that the Sudanese were starving. But when this was published in The New York Times in 1993, it opened many eyes. And it made hundreds ask: Why didn’t the photographer help the child?He chased the vulture away but left her to continue her painful crawl. Not everyone realized that photojournalists were told not to touch famine victims for fear of spreading disease.There was an outpouring of accusation toward Kevin Carter. Was it a photojournalist’s duty to intervene? A year after taking the picture, Carter took his own life.

3. A Fall From A Building Captured On Camera

Boy falling down from a building
Boy falling down from a building (BBC: credit)

Title: Fire Escape Collapse, Boston, Massachusetts, 1975

Where should the line be drawn for releasing disturbing images? The photographer thought he was taking pictures of a routine rescue. The godmother and her goddaughter were crowded on the fire escape where a firefighter was moving to help.In the midst of the rescue, the fire escape collapsed. The photographer continued to take photos, freezing the terrible fall in picture. The victims seemed to be swimming through the air, their expressions clear in that instant.Photographer Stanley Forman turned away before they hit the ground because he didn’t want to see their deaths. The godmother, Diana Bryant, died when she hit the ground. But miraculously, she cushioned the fall for her two-year-old goddaughter, Tiare, who survives to this day.Forman won the Pulitzer Prize for his work. Almost overnight, fire escape safety became a nationwide debate. It led to numerous municipalities throughout the US changing their fire escape safety codes.

2. Young refugee lying lifeless

Syria refugee- baby lying on the floor (Photo credit: Nilufer Demir)

Title: Death of Alan Kurdi, Bodrum, Turkey, 2015

When photographer Nilufer Demir came across the two-year-old Syrian boy washed up on the shore, Alan looked like he was sleeping. Demir took the pictures because that was “the only way to express the scream of his silent body.” Alan was a Syrian refugee of the ongoing civil war that has already killed hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians.Millions more are refugees, and the story of Alan’s family is a common one. Syrians who escape the fighting have reached refugee camps, only to find them overflowing and hungry. Chances to be transferred to a safer country can be frighteningly slim when the refugees have no connections or good source of income. Alan’s family was denied multiple times.In a last, desperate act, they paid to be smuggled out on an inflatable raft over open waters. The raft, holding twice its recommended capacity, capsized several minutes in, and bodies began to wash up on the Greek coast.It’s easier than ever to share a picture with the world. When Alan Kurdi’s picture was released, millions were viewing it within the day. It’s one of the most telling images in an ongoing war that many prefer to ignore.

1. Japanese Bombing Of Fleeing

Chinese Refugees1-the-shanghai-baby ( Photo credit: militaryhistorynow.com )

Title: Bloody Saturday, Shanghai, China, 1937

It is one of the most influential picture ever taken, It depicts when Japan was openly bombing and killing its way across China. But to most Americans, it was a distant conflict and not their problem.

The picture was taken after Japanese bombers attacked Shanghai in the middle of the day on Saturday, August 28, 1937. Bombs were dropped on a railway station where Japanese refugees were crowded.The picture was taken minutes after the bombs had fallen. Chinese photographer H.S. Wong recalled the horror as the dead and the living crowded the terminal. “My shoes were soaked with blood,” he said. a baby alone on the railroad tracks with the mother lying dead nearby. He took pictures before going to help the baby, who was soon taken by his father.

The pictures released in the Chinese press made their way overseas to the US.The Bloody Saturday (aka Shanghai Baby) photo caught the sympathy and shock of the public as it was released on every major news venue. Over 130 million people could now put a face to the tragedy.The Shanghai baby shocked the country, and condemnation of the war crashed down on Japan. It showed the devastation, death, and sorrow the war was bringing. It was one of the landmarks leading toward America’s entry into the war.Kellie McIntyre is a freelance writer working over social media and websites. An author of lists and articles, she has her niche in history, science, and pop culture. She’s found a slight niche in writing reviews for books and movies.

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