Small Wars Journal

Calley's My Lai Apology

SWJ friend Joe Galloway reports on former Army LT William Calley's apology for the My Lai massacre in his McClatchy commentary regrets for My Lai massacre decades late.

Former Lt. Rusty Calley has finally spoken about the My Lai Massacre in terms of his remorse for the deaths of between 300 and 400 unarmed Vietnamese villagers who were slaughtered on one terrible day in March, 1968, 41 years ago, and his remorse for the ruined lives of American soldiers he and others ordered to do the killing...

After decades of refusing all requests for interviews, Calley this month accepted an invitation to speak to a Kiwanis Club in Columbus, Ohio, and there confessed to daily feeling "remorse" over his actions and their consequences...

In this case I am afraid that a "sorry" near the end of a comfortable life just doesn't cut it, Lt. Calley. I doubt it will buy much leeway on Judgment Day either.

Meanwhile, Michael Sullivan of National Public Radio reports that in Vietnam, Calley's My Lai apology barely registers.

Ten days ago, the only man convicted for the My Lai massacre publicly expressed remorse for what happened there in March 1968. The publicity-shy William Calley told a Kiwanis club lunch there was "not a day that goes by that I do not feel remorse for what happened. I am very sorry." After his apology, Voice of America expressed interest in having Calley apologize on the air in Vietnam, but few seem interested in hearing it.



Mon, 08/31/2009 - 6:18am

<p>I'm a Galloway fan and I thought he was on the money until the concluding sentence:</p>
<p><i>"I doubt it will buy much leeway on Judgment Day either."</i></p>
<p>I share the disgust, but as for the Judgment Day decision, I'm content to not speculate and to leave that one up to the proper approving authority.</p>


Sun, 08/30/2009 - 7:51pm

As a Vietnam Veteran, I will never forgive Calley, or anyone who kills women and children, regardless of "following orders." Shame on us for not hanging him and his immediate superiors.

I was stateside after serving my tour when this happened. Cally's atrocity, stained the name of all who fought and left us shamed that our brothers in arms, could do such a thing. Years later, the photo of the group of women and children taken just prior to being slaughtered came to light and ignited my indignation all over again.