On March 16, 1968, U.S. Army troops killed between 300 and 500 civilians in the My Lai hamlet, part of the larger village of Son My, Vietnam. Unfortunately, the My Lai Massacre became one of the most significant symbols of U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War.American soldiers claimed to be acting on orders from their commanding officers. Only one man, Second Lieutenant William Calley, a platoon leader, was convicted for the crimes at My Lai. He served three years of a life sentence before being paroled.The My Lai Massacre, the Army’s initial concealment of the event, and the failure to hold any high-ranking officers accountable appalled both military and civilian critics. Many drew attention to the Nuremberg Trials, where following orders was rejected as a defense for committing war crimes. Evidence of the My Lai Massacre emerged in late 1969. Calley was sentenced in 1971 and paroled in 1974. The U.S. withdrew from Vietnam in 1975.
Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry accountable Adjective
responsible or answerable for something.
to horrify, shock, or disgust.
person who is not in the military.
to find someone guilty of an illegal act.
data that can be measured, observed, examined, and analyzed to support a conclusion.
very small village.
mass killing of large number of people.
to conditionally release an inmate from prison prior to the end of their sentence.
small military unit usually commanded by a lieutenant.
important or impressive.
something used to represent something else.
small human settlement usually found in a rural setting.
Encyclopedic Entry: village war crime Noun
severe acts of violence, violating international law, committed against civilians, enemies, prisoners of war, or others during an armed conflict.