The death of an American hero

  • #1
Ivan Seeking
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Hugh Thompson Jr. died of cancer last Friday. His is a story worth knowing - he and a few others were the heroes of My Lai. And heroes they were...

Hugh Thompson was a helicopter pilot in 1968, on a day American soldiers gunned down more than 500 unarmed civilians in a village called My Lai.

The dead were women, old men and children. And even more of them would have died if Thompson had not confronted his fellow soldiers, stopped their murderous rampage and airlifted a number of civilians to safety.

...Approximately 170 people were marched down in there, including women, old men, babies. And GIs stood up on the side with their weapons on full automatic and machine gun fire.

“There were no weapons captured. There were no draft-age males killed. They were civilians,” says Colburn, referring to the ditch filled with bodies. “It was full … some of the people were still, they were dying, they weren't all dead.”

As Thompson and Colburn were recalling the horrors of that day for 60 Minutes, an elderly woman walked toward us. She said that she had been dumped in the ditch back in 1968, but had survived, shielded by the bodies of the dead and the dying...

...he [Thompson] was inducted on the first ballot into the Army Aviation Hall of Fame
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/05/06/60minutes/main615997.shtml


The Heroes of My Lai
http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/mylai/Myl_hero.html
 
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Answers and Replies

  • #2
Art
I read the links you provided. It made for very interesting reading. It shows how little things really change when the same excuses trotted out then ranging from simple denial to "this was just an isolated incident" are still the first line of defence used by politicians and the military today and that those who raise such issues are unamerican or even traitors.

It's scandalous that even when eventually the facts were unearthed only one person was convicted and even he was pardoned shortly afterwards.
 
  • #3
10
0
well, long time narrow-minded immigrants usually think they are on the horizons of modern world. The writer is one of them, just a guess.
 
  • #4
Ivan Seeking
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NafiBear said:
well, long time narrow-minded immigrants usually think they are on the horizons of modern world. The writer is one of them, just a guess.
Would you care to explain yourself? And I don't know where you come off about immigrants. The "writers" were, the people involved, and 60 Minutes, which interviewed the men who were there, and a survivor.
 
  • #5
alexandra
A good link, Ivan - this story just goes to show that individuals can overcome the constraints of the situation they are in and behave like normal human beings against all odds. Now I wonder what happened to Thompson's "human nature" there - his selfish interest in nothing but his own self-preservation? (This question is not, of course, addressed to you, Ivan, but to all those who do not believe in the potential for human beings to behave altruistically and in the interests of their fellow humans).
 

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