Wednesday , March 22 2023

US veterans pay respect to 504 victims of Vietnam War massacre

Hundreds of U.S. veterans and people of central Quang Ngai Province on Thursday participated in a memorial ceremony for 504 victims of the My Lai Massacre, which occurred in 1968.

Participants lit incense in front of the Son My memorial site in My Lai, observing a minute of silence to pay respect to the dead.

Several U.S. veterans returned to Quang Ngai this year to participate in the ceremony, after three years of travel restrictions due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Nguyen Tien Dung, director of the Quang Ngai Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said the massacre in Son My is a prime example of the crimes against the people of Quang Ngai and of Vietnam during the Vietnam War.

After peace was restored, the people of Son My have been willing to put aside the pain and make room for forgiveness, accepting the return of U.S. veterans to the region for memorial ceremonies.

During the occasion, Quang Ngai authorities and Ronald Haeberle, the U.S. Army photographer who took the photographs of the massacre, reached an agreement on the rights to use the photos. Haeberle gave the management board of the Son My Memorial permission to exhibit the photos permanently.

U.S. troops committed the My Lai mass murder on March 16, 1968, killing 504 people, including women, children and elderly. The massacre was exposed to the public after Haeberle published the photos he took.

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