My Lai Massacre- Question for America

Essay by PheebsNguyenHigh School, 12th gradeA-, November 2014

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"Vietnam and My Lai have ended America's innocence, ended it perhaps for good."[1: Richard Hammer, The Court-Martial of Lieutenant Calley (New York: Coward, McCann, & Geoghegan, 1971), 391]

-Richard Hammer-

When it comes to the United States' military history, one of the darkest days was the My Lai Massacre. My Lai Massacre was a mass murder in a village of South Vietnam on March 16, 1968, during the Vietnam War. It was committed by the United States soldiers of Task Force Barker, many from Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 11th Infantry, Americal Division. These soldiers killed as many as five hundred Vietnamese men, women, children and even elders, most of whom were noncombatants and unarmed, at My Lai hamlet in a village called Son My, South Vietnam. Many details of the massacre were unknown for a long time before every cruel crime was revealed. It left an indelible stain on American's record in Vietnam, the nation's longest, least popular and most controversial war.

The My Lai Massacre raises fundamental questions about the American way of war and the United States military leadership in Vietnam.

My Lai Massacre was the darkest part of Vietnam War that created bad images for the American war history. The Vietnam War occurred between North Vietnam - supported by the Soviet Union, China and other communist allies - and the government of South Vietnam - supported by the United States and other anti-communist countries. One major participant of the Vietnam War was the National Liberation Front, established by North Vietnam. National Liberation Front, commonly known as Viet Cong, was a group of Vietnamese soldiers in South Vietnam that fought against the South Vietnamese government and the United States. These soldiers, with the help and direction from North Vietnam, had majorly contributed to the victory of...