My Lai ceremony highlights peace, but dark memories recalled

My Lai ceremony highlights peace, but dark memories recalled
In this Mar. 15, 2018, photo, My Lai massacre survivor Tran Van Duc points at a photo taken by U.S. army photographer Ron Haeberle of his mother Nguyen Thi Tau, who was killed in the massacre in My Lai, Vietnam. More than a thousand people attend the commemoration marking the 50th anniversary of the My Lai massacre in which 504 unarmed civilians, most of the children, women and elderly men. (AP Photo/ Hau Dinh)

MY LAI, Vietnam (AP) — Talk of peace dominated the 50th anniversary commemoration of the My Lai massacre in Vietnam, but among the hundreds in the audience were survivors and a former U.S. Army photographer whose gruesome images galvanized anti-war opinion.

Their disturbing tales were a sharp rejoinder to the ceremony’s peaceful sentiments.

Friday’s memorial events were held at the site of the 1968 massacre by American troops of 504 unarmed Vietnamese villagers, mostly women, children and elderly men.

A provincial official addressing the crowd mentioned the killings but scrupulously avoided naming the United States as the two nations steadily improve their relations.

The audience included Sgt. Ron Haeberle, who photographed the aftermath in My Lai, and survivor Tran Van Duc, who was 6 at the time and whose slain mother was photographed by Haeberle.