On the fiftieth anniversary of the My Lai massacre

This is an incident I remember well. It was not the only massacre that happened during that period but it was the best known and reported throughout the World. It really brought home how horrific the Viet Nam war had become, and how barbaric. Like the Japanese in World War 2 the Vietnamese had become dehumanised in the minds of the American military.

1960s: Days of Rage

Mosaic at the memorial at My Lai

“Today is the fiftieth anniversary of the My Lai massacre. On the morning of March 16, 1968, American forces entered the village and gathered up all living things: elderly men and women, infants in mothers’ arms, pigs, chickens, and water buffalo. Then, the Americans proceeded to kill them all, slowly, carefully, methodically. It took four hours (this was no sudden outburst of passion), until all 504 people and all the animals were massacred. Fifty-six of the people killed were under seven years old; some of the infants were bayoneted to death. Women were raped before being shot. After the killing orgy, two of the American soldiers (one a religious Mormon) sat down to lunch nearby. Unfortunately, their meal was interrupted by the moans of a few villagers shot and left for dead, but not yet fully dead. The two soldiers, disturbed by…

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