Friday, August 21, 2009

Calley apologizes for My Lai massacre

William Calley, the former Army lieutenant convicted on 22 counts of murder in the infamous My Lai Massacre in Vietnam, publicly apologized for the first time this week while speaking before a civic group in in Georgia.

“There is not a day that goes by that I do not feel remorse for what happened that day in My Lai,” Calley told members of the Kiwanis Club of Greater Columbus on Wednesday, according to the Columbus Ga. Ledger-Enquirer.

The report said Calley's voice began to break when he added, “I feel remorse for the Vietnamese who were killed, for their families, for the American soldiers involved and their families. I am very sorry.”

You can read the original story that the wires picked up in the Ledger-Enquirer.

In March 1968, American soldiers gunned down hundreds of civilians in My Lai, a Vietnames hamlet. At first the Army denied the event, then downplayed it, claiming the dead were mostly Vietnam.

In November 1969 journalist Seymour Hersch uncovered what happened. Calley was court-martialed and convicted of murder.

Until Wednesday, Calley had refused to grant interviews about what happened until Wednesday when he spoke at the Columbus Kiwanis meeting. He made a brief statement then took questions from the audience. Calley answered questions regarding his original orders, the question of a helicopter and only two U.S. casualties -- neither the result of enemy fire.

"They didn't have time," Calley reportedly said.

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