45 years ago on March 16, 1968, Charlie Company of the Americal Division’s 11th Infantry Brigade received word that Viet Cong (VC) guerrillas had taken control of the Son My village. Led by Lieutenant William L. Calley, the unit was sent to the village on a search-and-destroy mission. The My Lai hamlet was part of the village of Son My, located in Quang Ngai province, which was believed to be a stronghold of the VC and was a frequent target of U.S. and South Vietnamese bombing attacks. Army commanders had advised the soldiers of Charlie Company that all who were found in Son My could be considered VC or active VC sympathizers, and ordered them to destroy the village. When they arrived, the soldiers found no Viet Cong, but rounded up and murdered hundreds of civilians -mostly women, children and old men- in an extremely brutal fashion, including rape and torture.
The chilling facts about My Lai itself are widely known, but on the 45th anniversary of the massacre, some details bear repeating. On March 16, 1968, hundreds (various estimates range between 347 and 504) of elderly people, women, children and infants were murdered by more than 20 members of “Charlie” Company, United States’ 1st Battalion 20th Infantry Regiment. Some of the women were raped before being killed. After this mass slaughter, only one man, Second Lt. William Calley, was convicted of any crime. (He was found guilty in March 1971 of the premeditated murder of 22 Vietnamese civilians, but served just three-and-a-half years under house arrest at Fort Benning, Georgia.) -Life Magazine
La Chiesa dei Morti, The Church of the Dead, is located in Urbania in Italy. Inside lies the Cemetery of the Mummies, which was built in 1833. This cemetery is famous for its strange phenomenon of natural mummification.