“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. His voice started 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.”
— William Calley in his first public apology for the 1968 massacre at My Lai in which hundreds of civilians were killed by US troops.
“The oppressed and the oppressor alike are robbed of their humanity.”
— Nelson Mandela
Calley was convicted of murder, which was later reversed as many thought he was a scapegoat. He says his orders were to take out My Lai because it was assumed to be armed and hostile. It wasn’t. The Army at first covered it up, but a then-young reporter named Seymour Hersh soon discovered the truth. It was a huge, polarizing, white-hot story during a insanely tumultuous time.
I loathed him at the time. But as Sue says, “no one ever recovers from war.” It sure sounds like his remorse is genuine. And he was a scapegoat, no question. Cannon fodder for an insane war that no one even to this day can explain the reasons for.