Americans on the Vietnam War (late 1960s-early 1970s)

More and more Americans began to oppose America’s involvement with the Vietnam War when American soldiers themselves began to share their experiences in the war. When veterans admitted to committing war crimes in Southeast Asia such as rape, mutilation, shooting, and bombing, it painted a barbaric picture to America. These war crimes did not reflect what it meant to be American; it reflected what it meant to be a savage. When the story of My Lai surfaced to the public, the country’s anti-war spirits could’ve only escalated. With an estimated of 370 people–men, women, children, and babies–shot dead in one day in the village of My Lai, the truth couldn’t have sat well with many Americans. America was not supposed to be a country full of murderers but a land full of helpers, yet the story of My Lai and of veterans said otherwise. Because of that, many Americans began to strongly oppose the war.

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