50 years ago, the My Lai massacre shamed the US military

MY LAI, Vietnam (AP) — The shudder of artillery fire woke the boy. Three American soldiers appeared and forced the family into the bomb shelter.

One soldier set fire to the thatched house while the others tossed grenades into the shelter. Protected under the torn bodies of his mother and siblings, 10-year-old Pham Thanh Cong survived.

On March 16, 1968, the American soldiers of Charlie Company, sent to confront Vietcong enemies, killed 504 unarmed civilians within hours.

The massacre in My Lai is notorious in U.S. military history, though it wasn’t an aberration in the war in Vietnam.

Fifty years later, most of the rancor from the war is gone, at least publicly, between the nations.

Cong says he cannot forget but he’s willing to forgive. “We have had enough losses and suffering of war.”

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