Friday, January 06, 2006

A story that needs to be told

from BBC NEWS, of course -- the My Lai hero you never heard about.

Hugh Thompson Jnr, a former US military helicopter pilot who helped stop one of the most infamous massacres of the Vietnam War has died, aged 62.
Mr Thompson and his crew came upon US troops killing civilians at the village of My Lai on 16 March 1968.

He put his helicopter down between the soldiers and villagers, ordering his men to shoot their fellow Americans if they attacked the civilians.

"There was no way I could turn my back on them," he later said of the victims.

Mr Thompson, a warrant officer at the time, called in support from other US helicopters, and together they airlifted at least nine Vietnamese civilians - including a wounded boy - to safety.

He returned to headquarters, angrily telling his commanders what he had seen. They ordered soldiers in the area to stop shooting.

But Mr Thompson was shunned for years by fellow soldiers, received death threats, and was once told by a congressman that he was the only American who should be punished over My Lai.
The killing machine can be stopped. When good men stand up, call evil by its name, and say "no more," they eventually have an effect.

Thompson's story needs to told, especially now.


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