Vietnam marks 50 years since the ‘My Lai massacre’

My Lai massacreMy Lai massacre survivors lay flowers during a ceremony to remember victims of the massacre in My Lai, Vietnam Friday, March 16, 2018. More than a thousand people attend the commemoration marking the 50th anniversary of the My Lai massacre in which 504 unarmed civilians, most of them women, children and the elderly. (AP Photo/Hau Dinh)

Over a thousand people participated in a 50 year anniversary commemoration of the My Lai massacre in the center of the village of ‘Son My’ in Vietnam, where 504 civilians were killed by American soldiers.

 

Over three and four hours, American soldiers from ‘Charlie Company’ killed 504 unarmed civilians, most of them women, children and elderly men, in the village of ‘My Lai’ and the neighboring town of ‘My Khe’.

“What happened in My Lai was a typical case of cruel acts committed by aggressive and hostile forces during the war,” said Quang Ngai province spokesman, Dang Ngoc Dung. His statement reinforced testimony from many US military veterans that ‘My Lai’ wasn’t an exceptional event.

Survivors laid down flowers, and children held dance shows in a tribute to the victims, and to promote the ethic of peace.

“20 years ago, I still held hatred against the American soldiers who killed my mother, my brothers and my sister. But now, 50 years after the event, the relationship between Vietnam and the United States has evolved, and people have put pain and suffering aside to build a better society, Do Ba said in a speech during Friday’s event.

The US soldiers were sent there on what they were told was a mission to find Vietcong insurgents. Several of the residents were hit on the head with rifles when they bowed their heads to welcome the soldiers.

Others were raped and tortured, and the Americans set fire to the village.

When a few of the 120-man-strong company refused to follow orders,Lieutenant William Calley took care of several of the killings. Within three metres, he fired on a group of 60 civilians. The massacre was interrupted when an American helicopter arrived at the place. 40 years later, Calley apologized.

 

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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