By San Diego Veterans for Peace
Fifty years ago, American boys, most under 20 years of age, committed unspeakable acts against a civilian hamlet in Vietnam. Over 500 women, children (yes! there were babies!) and old men were slaughtered by American soldiers. Civilian “collateral damage” is a tragic cost of any war; the My Lai massacre only exemplified it at a highly public level.
The San Diego Chapter of Veterans For Peace is named after Hugh C. Thompson, the courageous US Army helicopter pilot who landed his chopper and, along with fellow crewmen, intervened against fellow American troops to end the carnage at My Lai. Thompson reported the “incident” up the chain of command but was met with indifference and ridicule by authorities.
Fifty years removed from My Lai, today we see American troops in more than 120 countries, with US bases in more than 80. We are embroiled in multiple wars and conflicts, and the “Doomsday Clock” has just been advanced 30 seconds closer to midnight, due to escalating tensions over possible nuclear war. Drone warfare is commonplace with mounting civilian casualties, as American warriors in Nevada routinely target and kill in places around the globe.
As citizens, we must draw connections between our foreign war policies of the past and those of today. Absent the military draft most people do not see the true, total costs of war. Politicians continue to overfund the Pentagon without any dissent and then reduce spending on programs that benefit our population. If we fail to speak out, we are complicit in the wars our government conducts in our names.
The My Lai Memorial Exhibit, by allowing you to take part in the artistic process, honors the over two million Vietnamese civilians who died in what we call the “Vietnam War” but what will forever be known in Vietnam as the “American War”. This Memorial Exhibit offers three interactive opportunities to dialogue, build a sculptural collage and to share your artwork and comments. You will be able to participate in a strong, anti-war response to the Pentagon’s $63 million campaign to sanitize and to glorify this unnecessary, unjust and immoral military action.
The 50th anniversary of the My Lai Massacre will be March 16, 2018, and the San Diego and Chicago Chapters of the Veterans For Peace and the San Diego Peace Resource Center invite you to observe, participate and reflect on these events during its week in San Diego.
Wednesday, March 14: World Beat Center, 2100 Park Blvd., San Diego, 92101
Display open 2 p.m. – 9 p.m. Speakers Program: 7:30 p.m., Dennis Stout, Mike Hanes, Barry Ladendorf
Thursday, March 15: First Unitarian Universalist Church, 4190 Front St., San Diego, 92103
Display open Noon – 6 p.m.
Friday, March 16: First Unitarian Universalist Church, 4190 Front St., San Diego, 92103
Display open 2 p.m. – 9 p.m. Speakers: 7:30 PM, Dennis Stout, Marjorie Cohn, Barry Ladendorf
Saturday, March 17: SD Peace Resource Center, 3850 Westgate Pl., San Diego, 92105
Display open Noon – 5 p.m.
All admissions are free.
For more information please contact: Gary Butterfield at firstname.lastname@example.org To view the MyLai Memorial webpage, click here.