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 the interruption, finished off the few villagers still alive, and then went placidly back to their meal. Today, there is a memorial at the site of the massacre. Part of the memorial is an indoor museum. The highlight of the museum is a somber plaque containing the names and ages of each one of the 504 people killed. There is a large outdoor monument and several smaller sculptures on the grounds. There is also a large outdoor mosaic in a pattern that reminds one of Pablo Picasso’s “Guernica” (which was commissioned as a memorial to the victims of an earlier massacre). One can walk around the remains of the village and see the Thun Yen ditch in which 170 of the victims died. And one can see the remaining brick foundations of the few burned village houses that had brick foundations. My friend, Lady Borton, who lives in Vietnam, tried to discourage me from visiting My Lai, but I went anyway. Back in 1968, Lady had been living in Quang Ngai Province, where My Lai is located, doing medical relief work for civilian war victims. …”
NY Times: The Truth Behind My Lai
Reblogged this on Kenny Wilson's Blog and commented:
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.