Vietnam // The southern coast //

Son My Memorial Park

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In the sub-hamlet of Tu Cung, the site of an infamous massacre of civilians by American soldiers on March 16, 1968 is remembered at the Son My Memorial Park. Pacing through this peaceful and dignified place, set within a low perimeter wall, you’ll be accompanied by a feeling of blanched horror, and a palpable sense of the dead all around you. Wandering the garden, visitors can see bullet holes in trees, foundations of homes burnt down (each with a tablet recording its family’s losses), blown-out bomb shelters, and cement statues of slain animals. One path ends at a large, Soviet-style statue of a woman cradling a dead baby over her left arm while raising her right fist in defiance. Once you’ve seen the garden, step into the museum to view the grisly display upstairs, though be warned that it’s a disturbing place for anyone with a sensitive disposition. Here, beyond a massive marble plaque recording the names of the dead, family by family, and a montage of rusting hardware, a photograph gallery documents the event.

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