1968 My Lai Massacre
March 16th marks fifty-four years since the U.S. military slaughtered more than 500 unarmed South Vietnamese elder men, womyn and children in a search-and-destroy mission that has come to be known as the My Lai Massacre. The My Lai Massacre was led by a lieutenant and captain of the Charlie Company during the war in Vietnam that saw girls and womyn in the village of Quang Ngai village to be raped and mutilated before they were murdered, livestock to be killed, and the village burnt down.
The U.S. considered the Quang Ngai village a stronghold of the communist National Liberation Front (NLF) and Viet Cong (VC) and ordered the early morning raid that unleashed a barrage of U.S. artillery upon the civilian village after it was heavily sprayed with the deadly Agent Orange herbicide.
My Lai has been declared one of the most horrific assaults and mass killing of unarmed civilians in the history of the Vietnam war. The murder of 182 womyn (17 of them pregnant), 173 children (56 of them infants) was covered up for nearly two years by the U.S. military before the American media revealed to the public. This fueled both a national and international outrage which increased the anti-war sentiment dividing the country, as well as lead to military and criminal charges against the officers in charge.
Lieutenant (W.L. Calley) was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for his role in the deaths of 109 My Lai victims. His sentence was commuted into house arrest by then President Richard Nixon, and he ended up serving approximately three years of his sentence. Captain (E. Medina) was tried and acquitted by a military court-martial.
Fifty years later, the lone My Lai Massacre survivor who laid wounded and unconscious for hours before being discovered by his father and neighbors, says he is still haunted by nightmares of what happened on that day.
Let us NEVER FORGET – March 16th, 1968 – the trauma, scars and violence war leaves behind.