The Vietnam War

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There were many events that lead up the Vietnam War, it started in 1945 with the hostilities between the French and Vietminh. “Geopolitical Strategy, economics, domestic US politics, and cultural arrogance shaped the growing American involvement in Vietnam” (Anderson 1). As a matter of fact, the Vietnam War was several wars, but it was not until 1962 that America had their first combat mission, however, Americans were killed during ambushes by the Vietnamese before the first combat mission. There is much controversy over the reasons for the Vietnam War, supported by the several different books and articles written about the war. “The most famous atrocity occurred in a tiny hamlet called My Lai in March 1968” (Detzer 127). History shows that the reaction of many Americans to the attack by US soldiers on the village of My Lai during the Vietnam War was opposition, and the actions of the US soldiers during the My Lai Massacre will be forever remembered as a significant part of the Vietnam War and American History.

During the Vietnam War, the first platoon (approximately forty men) was lead by a young officer named William Calley. Young Calley was drafted into the US Army after high school, but it did not take long for him to adjust to being in the army, with a quick transition to the lifestyle of the military, he wanted to make it his career. In high school, Calley was a kind, likable and “regular” high school student, he seemed to be a normal teenager, having interest in things that other boys his age typically had. He was never observed acting in a cruel or brutal way. In Vietnam, Calley was under direct order of company commander, Captain Ernest Medina, whom he saw as a role model, he looked up to Medina. (Detzer 127).


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...nd innocent villagers of My Lai, it was a time when American’s questioned their own as being “bad guys” or “good guys”. Were America’s tortuous and cruel acts to be considered patriotic or dishonorable? Some Americans, with bitter feelings for all the American lives lost in the Vietnam War, gave credit to Lieutenant Calley for leading troops in participating in such an atrocious event. History shows that there is still much debate on some facts of the massacre and many stories and opinions, although we will never know the facts exactly, what we do know is that America will never forget this tragic event, it will be talked about in American History for many years to come, and the Vietminh hearts will always fill with sadness when they think of the many lives that were lost on that tragic day in history, their minds will always have unspeakable memories of that day.

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