Former US Army Lieutenant William Calley apologized for his actions in the massacre at My Lai, Vietnam, in 1968, during remarks to a Georgia Kiwanis club.
There is not a day that goes by that I do not feel remorse for what happened that day in My Lai…I am very sorry.
Calley’s former prosecutor, William George Eckhardt, seemed to indicate that Calley has never apologized to date.
Famous for his defense that he was just following orders, Calley appears to have at least acknowledged that he was still responsible for his own actions:
When asked if he broke the law by obeying an unlawful order, the newspaper reported, Calley replied: “I believe that is true.”
“If you are asking why I did not stand up to them when I was given the orders, I will have to say that I was a second lieutenant getting orders from my commander and I followed them — foolishly, I guess,” Calley said.
The actions of Calley and his unit continue to be a tool for teaching ethics, personal responsibility, and lawful orders in the military.
Calley had contended he was merely “following orders.” His conviction at court martial affirmed that there is a moral standard to which military members will be held accountable, even if they feel they are only obeying the dictates of a superior.