40 Years Later: Hersh on My Lai

Friday, August 15, 2008


On March 16, 1968 U.S. soldiers entered the South Vietnamese village of My Lai and killed hundreds of unarmed civilians in what became the most notorious atrocity of the war. Last March, we spoke with New Yorker correspondent Seymour Hersh about the on-the-ground reporting behind his Pulitzer Prize winning scoop.

Comments [5]

james o. clifford from redwood city, Ca.

Re Hue: Many books perhaps but little in the news media. A story about Hue would be news to a lot of people.

Apr. 27 2010 08:53 PM

Grodon Walters,

Your comment could be taken several ways, you don't think Americans should investigate and write about American atrocities, you don't think Americans investigate and write enough about foreign atrocities.. and there are probably other ways to interpret your comment but those ways might be deemed "personal" so I won't bother :-)

America is a Republic founded on some very highly moral guiding principles and uncovering evil and speaking up about it regardless of the perpetrators is every Americans right and responsibility, otherwise Americans are no better than the regime/people who killed 4000 people in Hue.

There have been over 20 books written about the Hue massacres, maybe you didn't notice this report is on My Lai, not Hue :)

It appears you may be in denial :)

Aug. 24 2009 04:18 PM
Grodon Walters from Plano Il

Its to bad that in recollecting on My Lai there wasn’t enough time to recollect on another massive, if much less well known, massacre that took place during the Vietnam war. During the assault and occupation of Hue, the North Vietnamese came though the city with lists of names and proceeded to execute 4000 “enemies of the people”. I know good investigative journalists like Seymour Hersh must have written volumes on the largest single atrocity of the Vietnam war, but I be damned if I cant find them.

Aug. 18 2008 01:41 PM
Robert from NYC

Thanks Brooke for the "aren't we supposed to learn from the past" line. I say it all the time, but now from me it's become ineffective, unfortunately. We become desensitized to the evils of history too quickly.

Aug. 17 2008 10:41 AM
Joanne Heisel from Columbia, MD

On this 40th aniversary of the infamous My Lai massacre of hundreds of Vietnamese civilians by U.S. troops in 1968, it is apropos that you would interview reporter Seymour Hersh, who broke the story in the United States. He is a very fine investigative journalist, for whom I have a tremendous amount of respect.

Regarding this particular story... I was in Vietnam recently and visited the site of the My Lai massacre. I happened to be the only visitor at the time. It was truly an eerie and emotionally draining experience. I saw an old woman wandering around the site. She seemed lost in her thoughts. I approached her, having no idea what I would say to her. Not being able to speak Vietnamese, there really wasn't much I could say. But I felt compelled to walk toward her. We stared at each other as I approached her. When I got close enough to touch her, we both -- simultanously -- broke into tears and hugged each other for a long time. Then we parted without saying a word. Later, inside the exhibit building, I asked the museum guide who the woman was and why she was there. As I suspected (or at least wondered), it turns out she was one of the very few survivors of the 1968 massacre. The guide told me that the woman comes every day and wanders around the site, lost in her thoughts. I was so moved, I couldn't even thank the guide for the information. I just nodded my head and mouthed the words 'Thank you.'

Aug. 16 2008 05:02 PM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.