Saturday, January 07, 2006

Death of a Hero

Via No right turn
Hugh Thompson Jnr has died.

Warrant Officer Thompson landed his helicopter in the line of fire between fleeing Vietnamese civilians and pursuing American ground troops to prevent their murder. He then personally confronted the leader of the American ground troops and was prepared to open fire on those American troops should they fire upon the civilians. Warrant Officer Thompson, at the risk of his own personal safety, went forward of the American lines and coaxed the Vietnamese civilians out of the bunker to enable their evacuation. Leaving the area after requesting and overseeing the civilians' air evacuation, his crew spotted movement in a ditch filled with bodies south of My Lai Four. Warrant Officer Thompson again landed his helicopter and covered his crew as they retrieved a wounded child from the pile of bodies. He then flew the child to the safety of a hospital at Quang Ngai. Warrant Officer Thompson's relayed radio reports of the massacre and subsequent report to his section leader and commander resulted in an order for the cease fire at My Lai and an end to the killing of innocent civilians.

Impressive -
Rather like Oskar Schindler or John Rabe and Paul Rusesabagina , Raoul Wallenberg and Harald Edelstam

As Eldestam said When asked what made him do it,
"I cannot tolerate injustice." I'd like to think that none of us, if we see that injustice clearly, can tolerate it. I'd like to think that all of us have compassion and have caring. I would like to see that enrich all of our lives and I welcome you to join."

I wonder if there were any similar incidents on the other side. Maybe during the Tet offensive (eg Hue) or somthing. But they are probably all dead or at best too scared to say anything - so I guess we wouldn't know...


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