From The Independent (UK) (http://tinyurl.com/lktua5), via The Confluence
Saturday, 22 August 2009 - The only US Army officer convicted over the 1968 massacre of Vietnamese civilians at My Lai made an extraordinary public apology while speaking to a small group near the military base where he went on trial.
William Calley, who has long shied away from publicity and routinely turned down journalists' requests for interviews about My Lai, broke his long silence after accepting a long-time friend's invitation to speak at a meeting of a local community club.
Speaking in a soft, sometimes laboured voice, he told members of the Kiwanis Club of Greater Columbus, Georgia: "There is not a day that goes by that I do not feel remorse for what happened that day in My Lai," the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reported yesterday.
"I feel remorse for the Vietnamese who were killed, for their families, for the American soldiers involved and their families. I am very sorry."
Calley, 66, was a young lieutenant when a court martial at nearby Fort Benning convicted him of murder in 1971 for killing 22 civilians during the infamous massacre of 500 men, women and children in Vietnam.
Frustrated US troops came to My Lai on a "search and destroy" mission, looking for elusive Vietcong guerrillas. Although there were no reports of enemy fire, the troops began mowing down villagers and setting fire to their homes.
The incident shocked Americans and undermined support for the war.
Though sentenced to life in prison, Calley ended up serving three years under house arrest after President Richard Nixon later reduced his sentence.
My Lai Massacre by Eric Humphries (www.paintedatrocities.com/)