Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 10th grade March 2001

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The Vietnam War was the site of many tragic events. One of the more talked about of these tragic events is the tragedy that took place at My-Lai. It was early in the morning when the attack on the village first began, of that terrible, sure to be remembered day of March 16, 1968. The question of why the massacre in My- Lai happened still arises in the minds of some. It was not pure evil that drove the soldiers to do this but rather a combination of orders from a misinformed captain, hatred, vengeance, and fear towards the Vietnamese, which resulted in the deaths of many innocent civilians.

        "Charlie Company was a group of foot soldiers in their late teens and early twenties. Most of them had been drafted, or enlisted a moment before the draft reached them. These hundred and thirty men were commanded by the thirty-year-old Captain Ernest L.

Medina, the oldest man of the group." It was this group of men, also accompanied and directed by a second lieutenant William Calley Jr., which had performed in the utterly devastating tragedy which took place at My-Lai.

        It was about 7:00a.m of March 16, 1968 when the attack began. "The platoon quickly formed a perimeter and secured the landing zone. Seargent Cowen spotted an old man waving his arms. Thinking that the man was Viet Cong, he ordered his soldier to his right to shoot." This was the first casualty of the day, but most definitely not the last. Roberts, another of the young soldiers of the Charlie Company, saw, "a group of GI's jump off a helicopter, and begin firing at a group of people running on a nearby road. He then saw them shoot two men who popped up from a rice field." From here on...