Son My Memorial – Quang Ngai

Son My Memorial is situated in Tu Cung Hamlet, Tinh Khe Commune, Son Tinh District, Quang Ngai Province. The site was built in memory of the civilians who were killed during the American War.

Son My Memorial is located on the land where the American troops massacred the local people on the morning of 16 March 1968. Here, 504 innocent people were killed cruelly in many forms such as being shot to dead, killed by grenades, or thrown into wells. Most of them were old people, women, and children.

The memorial was built in 1978. At the time of the massacre, Son My was a village that included My Lai and several other hamlets. Because My Lai was not the only hamlet involved, the Vietnamese media refers to the event as the “Son My massacre.”

Son My was divided into four hamlets: My Lai, Co Luy, My Khe, and Tu Cung. The U.S. Army designated the various sectors of each hamlet in the form My Lai (1), My Lai (2), etc. The massacre took place, most notably in My Lai (4) (Xom Lang subhamlet) and in My Khe (4) (My Hoi subhamlet), but also in My Lai (5) (Binh Dong and Binh Tay subhamlets) and in Tu Cung.

Crossing the entrance gate, at the end of the lane, visitors will see the main memorial with spiraling incense smoke. On its pedestal, there are the statues of victims showing their utmost pain before death. On the two sides of the entrance, there are many small statues describing various positions of the ill-fated victims.

The House of Evidence lies on the left of the entrance. In the front and around the House are trimmed trees in the shape of tombs. The exhibits in the House are documents, photos, and objects which testify to the massacre such as shirts, a pair of sandal of a killed child, all kinds of cups and plates, cookers and pans holed by cartridge, and wooden bells used for reciting prayers. All of them stir deep feelings in the visitors.

Outside the House of Evidence, there is a waterway on which 170 people were killed, 24 house foundations with 24 steles dedicated to 24 families whose members were all massacred. On each stele, the name and age of the victims are listed.

There are some steles scattering over the hamlets at places where massacres occurred. At My Hoi Hamlet, Co Luy Commune, there is a stele lying among luxuriant coconut trees and listing the names of 97 killed villagers in a massacre.

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