My Lai Massacre

Natasha Biswas, Reporter

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Smoke filled the sky as their village burned to the ground. The rivers ran red with the blood of innocents. The soil, forever tainted by the rotting corpses of children who will never grow up.

 

March 16, 1968. This date entails one the darkest days claimed by American history. Soldiers belonging to a troop known as the Charlie Company under the command of William Calley mercilessly slaughtered men, women, children, and infants in the small village of Son My, located in South Vietnam. They claimed that the village was the location of undercover Vietcong when there were only simple village people.

 

On that fateful morning, the Charlie Company already had a predetermined target on this enemy village and was told to terminate all of its inhabitants.

 

Most of them were rice farmers. They lived and grew old in that village. Most of their lives were routine. Do their job and take care of their families. The carnage that was to follow was unknown to them all.

 

Swarms of soldiers came in one after the other invading the small village. Soon after their homes were engulfed in flames, screams of dying children penetrated the morning air. Within minutes, the massacre was over, and bodies canvassed the ground.

 

Knowing that the massacre would cause a scandal, it was covered up by higher-ranking officers. Calley was arrested and given a life sentence which had been continually reduced until he was paroled in 1974.

 

This heinous crime was committed and the guilty walked free without any semblance of remorse for their actions. Injustice fills all corners of the world and many sins have been left unatoned for. To be better, we must remember the people that fell so that we could stand here today. Their legacy should be carried on and the American people should ask for forgiveness. We cannot change the past, but by remembering what was done, we can make sure to never repeat our mistakes.

 

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