The media has often told the story of My Lai but they seldom tell the story of the American heroes that were also present that day. After a long contrived battle with the military mind the heroes were finally given their reward. The military wanted to bury all mention of My Lai until these men's heroism came to light. Even before the awards ceremony the Pentagon wanted to have the awards done in private , out of the public's eye. The two recipients demanded that it be a public presentation and it finally was done on the hill to the East of the Vietnam Wall. I had the pleasure of attending this ceremony. Here is a photographic record of the award presentation. More information can be found on http://www.lighthorse-scavenger.org/namsts.htm#my lai
Above is the actual awards presentation. It was a three man crew in an observation helicopter that placed their helicopter between the Vietnamese civilians and the U.S. Army troops that were firing on civilians at the village of My Lai. This Helicopter Crew showed the true metal that the vast majority of the American fighting men were forged from. These men were given the highest award that any soldier can be given when they place themselves in harms way in order to save others. Unfortunately the third crewman was latter killed in Vietnam. Below is the write up for the awards.
Above on the left I had the wonderful chance to personally thank the pilot Hugh Thompson for being in the wrong place at the "Right time". On the Right is the Crew Chief Lawrence Colburn whom I also had a chance to shake the hand of. These two pictures were taken by Mr. Bill Gray who is also a Vietnam Veteran.
If you ever wonder why these two brave men did what they did at My Lai then it can best be expressed with the following words at the F.D.R. memorial.
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