It's a visual memory made fuzzy down the years, I'd say. A combination of photos were released to publicise the film, which don't actually appear in it. You'll have read the novelisation, seen the comic book adaptation or other officially licenced magazine of some sort. Planned months before the film hit cinemas, based on an earlier script or artist/writer/editor having access to the workprint.
I had a vivid memory of the original way Kirk had died, even before the SE DVD came out. Just through an author's words and a handful of photos they did before the reshoot.
I'd love to see an alternate cut of Generations, based on every part of the script they shot... but I'm definitely alone in this regard. Particularly since his death is actually less heroic and deserving of criticism. More of a brutal act by Soran, while the Captain momentarily lets his guard to operate a remote control decloaking the missile. Kirk gets shot in the back, while saying "24th Century ain't so tough".