Reflections on the 50th anniversary of My Lai

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My Lai Memorial Site - Vietnam

Last week, March 16, marked a tragic milestone - the 50th anniversary of the My Lai Massacre, the mass murder of unarmed people in two small villages in Vietnam. It has been called one of the most shocking events of the entire war.  My Lai was one of the two villages.

The exact number of deaths has never been definitively established, with estimates ranging from 170 to over 500. Many of the people killed were women and children who were also mutilated and raped by American soldiers. The massacre escalated global outrage and opposition to the war and back home in the United States. In the end, only one of the 26 soldiers criminally charged for their part in the massacre was convicted. That one lone soldier spent three and a half years under house arrest. He never went to jail.

This grim anniversary is cause for reflection not just on that incident, but the entirety of the war and its aftermath. This next interview is excerpted from The Global Research News Hour, a podcast and radio program by the Centre for Research on Globalization and CKUW Radio in Winnipeg. You’ll hear show host Michael Welch talking to Christian Appy, a leading American historian and expert on the Vietnam War. Appy is professor of history at University of Massachusetts and the author of American Reckoning: The Vietnam War and Our National Identity (2015).

This interview was excerpted from a longer program focusing on various aspects of the United States and the Vietnam War. You can listen to the whole show and past podcasts here.  

Image: Wikimedia: My Lai Memorial Site

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