My Lai Massacre And The Peril òf Obedience English 101 Essay

853 words - 4 pages

On March 16, 1968, over 300 unarmed civilians were killed in South Vietnam during an
indiscriminate, mass murder event known as the My Lai Massacre. Conducted by a unit of the
United States Army, the My Lai Massacre ranked one of most appalling atrocities carried out by
US forces in an already savage and violent war. All victims involved were unarmed civilians,
many of which were women, children, and the elderly. Victims were raped, tortured and beaten,
even mutilated before being killed. The massacre was forever seared into the hearts and minds of
the American people as the day “the American spirit died.”
Since the initiation of the Tet Offensive, the 48th Battalion of the National Front of the Liberation
of South Vietnam (NLF – Vietcong) carried out frequent attacks against US forces. According to
intelligence reports, the 48th NLF Battalion was believed to be sheltered in the Son My village.
The hamlets within Son My village were designated My Lai one through four. These hamlets were
suspected of harboring Vietcong fighters. As such, US forces prepared for a major operation
against Son My village. Colonel Oran K. Henderson of the US 20th Infantry Regiment ordered his
subordinate offices to hit the village hard and wipe out the 48th Battalion. His second in command,
Lieutenant Colonel Frank A. Barker further ordered the men to burn down houses, destroy food
stores and livestock.
Charlie Company of the US 1st Battalion, under the direct command of Captain Ernest Medina,
landed after US artillery bombardment of the helicopter landing zone (LZ). Although no enemy
contact was made, American forces suspected that Vietcong fighters were hiding underground in
the My Lai hamlets. As the prior mission briefing given by Captain Medina specifically stated that
most civilian residents were either Vietcong or NLF sympathizers, US forces were ordered to kill
all Vietcong fighters and suspects with extreme prejudice. Spearheaded by Second Lieutenant
William Calley and his platoon, US forces began attacking human and animal targets alike. Men,
women and children were killed indiscriminately with firearms, grenades and bayonets. After the
initial attack, backup forces came in and dealt with the “remaining resistance,” killing every living
person they could find. Although most soldiers did not or refused to participate in the My Lai
Massacre, they neither resisted nor attempt to prevent the killings.
Conversely, a few men, namely Warrant Officer Hugh Thompson Jr. and his crew, actively saved
as many civilians as they could. Thomson, a helicopter pilot from an aerial scouting team,
witnessed the horrific massacre being carried out below him. Thompson soon landed by a nearby

Find Another Essay On My lai massacre and the peril òf obedience - English 101 - essay

My Lai Massacre Essay

1057 words - 4 pages ." If only Mr. Lincoln had been in My Lai on March 16, 1968 to remind the U.S. troops of that very point, maybe things would have turned out differently. "My Lai conveys terrible truths about the Vietnam war that we simply must face. We cannot avoid the abyss that is our history. We repeat it, if we are ignorant of it, and if we cannot confront it," (1) said David L. Anderson in his book "Facing My Lai: Moving Beyond the Massacre." The massacre at

My Lai Massacre Essay

708 words - 3 pages My Lai Massacre "My Lai was no accident. It was pure, premeditated murder". The memory of this tragic day is forever etched in the memories of many Vietnamese. The area in which the massacre took place was known as the Quang Ngai Province in the Song My village. This area was many times the scene for the worst fighting to take place between the U.S. and the National Liberation Front. The hamlet of My Lai was said to be the strongest of the NLF

My Lai Massacre

1575 words - 6 pages unveiled for no other reason than evil itself. This happens constantly throughout history from the rein of Mao Zedong to the Nazi regime dating as far back as our very existence. The massacre at My Lai demonstrates not only the existence of evil but also its nature. Evil is a very generic and over used term, with the true definition of evil rarely fitting applicable parameters. With the true definition of evil being "profoundly immoral and

The massacre at My Lai is one of the many

927 words - 4 pages The massacre at My Lai is one of the many results of the negative psychological effects on the men that fought in the Vietnam War. Tim O’Brien’s interpretation of Vietnam in The Things They Carried paints a vivid picture about the horrors of war, how someone could snap, and how easy it is for someone to lose their principles. My Lai is representative of the extreme situations that occurred in war. On March

The My Lai Massacre: Atrocities of a Day, the Horrors of War

3325 words - 14 pages The My Lai Massacre only took a few hours, but its impact on everyone from the perpetrators and victims to the American public will last forever. The My Lai Massacre took place during the heart of the United States’ involvement in the Vietnam War, on March 16, 1968. The My Lai Massacre is widely considered one of the most horrific moments in United States’ history, which is ironic, because Americans weren’t the victims, they were the opposite

A three page paper covering the massacre at My Lai during the Vietnam war. (Bibliography included)

724 words - 3 pages up a group of the villagers, ordered them into a trench, and viciously mowed them down with bullets.News of the massacre did not reach the American public until December of 1969, when writer Seymour Hersh published an article revealing his discussions with a Vietnam veteran, Ron Ridenhour. Ridenhour had learned of the incident at My Lai from members of Charlie Company who were there. Before speaking with Hersh, Ridenhour appealed to the Pentagon

To what extent did the My Lai Massacre shift the American people’s attitudes towards their government, and the American involvement in Vietnam?

2046 words - 9 pages soldiers suffering from low morale both physically and emotionally, seen foremost in Americans (Sanders). Although atrocities were committed by both sides, the My Lai Massacre was perhaps the most brutal. On March 16th, 1968, the US Army ‘Charlie Company’ division entered the Son My village led by Captain Medina and the 1st Platoon leader, Lieutenant Calley (Oliver). According to the soldiers, Medina ordered “the killing of every living thing in

My English 101 Experience

1232 words - 5 pages parameters. I had to make quick adjustments to my writing habits, which consisted of me typing away until I couldn't type any more, and then organizing that text into an essay. Luckily, after beginning to write my first English 101 paper, I generated a very efficient way for myself to outline and brainstorm, all while keeping page numbers in mind. I did this by actually drawing out rectangles for the number of pages I planned to write, and writing

My "Eight Cow" Bracelet - English 101 - narrative essay

1145 words - 5 pages "Beauty is only skin deep" was a phrase I heard quite often during my awkward childhood. When I was a baby, I had two chins, Michelin Tire legs, and hair that stuck straight up even though it was easily over two inches long. My mom would often dress me in only a diaper on hot days inspiring my uncle to label me with the name of "Marshmallow Butt." It was a name he was quite fond of calling me, even years later. As I grew, the double chin turned

My Lai: The Event, the Trial,

1535 words - 6 pages colleges, and sometimes towns across the country. Then one day, as the media was delivering their daily recurrences of the horror that was Vietnam, reports of a massacre in a village designated as My Lai 4 came up. Following these reports and some "thorough" investigation came the indictment of Lt. William Calley, the man slated responsible for the event, along with that indictment came charges of murder. The trial and crime helped bring the

My lai: the event, the trial,

1535 words - 6 pages colleges, and sometimes towns across the country. Then one day, as the media was delivering their daily recurrences of the horror that was Vietnam, reports of a massacre in a village designated as My Lai 4 came up. Following these reports and some "thorough" investigation came the indictment of Lt. William Calley, the man slated responsible for the event, along with that indictment came charges of murder. The trial and crime helped bring the

Similar Essays

My Lai Massacre As A Result Of Obedience To Authority. Relates To Stanly Milgrams Experiments And How Authority Play A Part In Genocide Killings

1215 words - 5 pages MY LAI MASSACRE AS A RESULT OF OBEDIENCE TO AUTHORITY The Vietnam controversy made many people feel at distress. It was never considered a "war," although that is exactly what it was. The My Lai Massacre in Vietnam was one of the many atrocities of that war. There is an unquestionable connection between Milgram's "Obedience to Authority" and the My Lai Massacre. According to Kelman & Hamilton, "Unquestioning obedience has been the cause of such

The My Lai Massacre Essay

1045 words - 4 pages confront it," said David L. Anderson in his book Facing My Lai: Moving Beyond the Massacre. The massacre at My Lai was witnessed by at least one soldier who wasn't swept up in the drama unfolding on the ground beneath his helicopter. Pilot Hugh Thompson, enraged by what he was witnessing in the hamlet below, set down his aircraft and began to rescue the Vietnamese survivors. He ordered his machine gunner to open fire on any American soldiers who

My Lai The Great Massacre Essay

919 words - 4 pages My Lai the Great Massacre The Olson and Roberts book, My Lai is based upon the March 18, 1968, assault on My Lai. By examining the material, an explanation of why this massacre occurred is drawn. The main factors that lead to the My Lai assault were difficulty engaging with the enemy and the problem of distinguishing between the enemy soldiers and civilians, which both led to rage and frustration among soldiers and a misinterpretation of

My Lai Massacre Essay 842 Words

842 words - 4 pages pilot on a reconnaissance mission, landed his aircraft between the soldiers and the retreating villagers and threatened to open fire if they continued their attacks.” (, Cover Up of the My Lai Massacre: Paragraph 1). If he had not made this heroic act, the soldiers of Charlie Company would have continued and there would have been many more deaths than there already were. There were a few