Two months ago, if someone had said the words My Lai to me, I probably would have looked at them unresponsively and thought nothing else about it. At the time, I didn't know what those words were, or the amazing story behind them. I first heard about the massacre at My Lai in my sociology class at the beginning of this semester. As she was telling us this story, I could feel all of these emotions begin to rise up in me. Feelings of compassion, anger, sadness, and confusion were all present at the same time. I did all I could to hold back the tears. Sadly, whether it is due to my apathetic ways or my previous educational experiences, I have to admit that I do not know very much about Vietnam. But after hearing the story, I felt more than motivated to learn as much as I could about Vietnam, and especially about the village of My Lai.
William Calley was a 24 year old platoon leader for the Charlie Company, which was commanded by 33 year old Ernest Medina. Calley was not exactly thought to be officer material. He had a lack of respect for the indigenous population and knowingly allowed misconduct amongst his soldiers. On March 14, 1968 a popular sergeant was killed by a booby trap, and several other soldiers were wounded. After the funeral, the Charlie Company had revenge on their minds. Captain Medina informed his soldiers that the Viet Cong's 48th Battalion was residing in a small village called My Lai. He told them that their mission was to engage in battle with the 48th battalion and to destroy the village of My Lai. .
The small village of My Lai inhabited about 700 residents. Their houses consisted of red brick homes or thatch covered huts. In the middle of the village, there was an open plaza area used for holding meetings. It consisted of women, men, children, and elderly "the average for any community. On March 16th, at 7:22 a.m. nine helicopters lifted off towards My Lai. By 8:00 a.