clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Vietnam vets to dedicate My Lai park

HANOI — U.S. veterans plan to dedicate a peace park at the Vietnamese village of My Lai next week on the 33rd anniversary of the Vietnam War's most notorious massacre.

Project Director Mike Boehm said the park would be dedicated with a tree-planting ceremony at the village just south of the central city of Danang next Friday. The veterans will also dedicate a school.

"Construction has begun on the peace park, and it's reached the point where it's now ready to have trees planted," he said. "It's a symbol of new life."

As many as 500 civilians were killed at My Lai on March 16, 1968, when troops from Charlie Company of the U.S. Army's Americal Division ran amok during a search-and-destroy mission.

Boehm, an intelligence officer during the Vietnam War, is directing the peace park project on behalf of the Quakers in Madison, Wisconsin.

He said he expected the ceremony would be attended by the surviving crew of a U.S. helicopter who became heroes in the United States and Vietnam after risking their lives to save 11 civilians from the massacre.

He said he was hoping pilot Hugh Thompson and door gunner Lawrence Colburn would be reunited during the ceremony with Do Hoa, now in his 40s, one of the people they rescued.