Nguyen Tan Lan, a survivor of this massacre, delivered a speech at a memorial service held on the massacre’s 50th anniversary in Go Dai, a village in the rural commune of Tay Vinh (formerly Binh An) in Binh Dinh Province, in central Vietnam.
“I would like the South Korean government to take responsibility for what happened,” Nguyen said.
It was here in Tay Vinh, fifty years ago this February, that South Korean troops massacred 1,004 Vietnamese civilians over the course of three weeks. During that series of events, known as the Binh An massacre, Nguyen lost his mother and his younger sister. He was 15 years old at the time.
When Nguyen visited South Korea on the invitation of the Peace Museum in April of last year, he had an encounter with South Korean army veterans. The veterans accused Nguyen of being a liar, and he vowed on that day to never return.
The service at Tay Vinh marks the first of several 50th anniversary services that were held this year in Central Vietnam to comfort the spirits of those who were killed in the massacres. Most of the civilian massacres carried out by South Korean troops in Vietnam took place in 1966. Even though fifty years have passed, the truth remains hidden, and the victims of those massacres continue to suffer.
I joined a South Korean peace delegation that traveled to Vietnam to attend the 50th anniversary memorial for the Binh An massacre.
In Vietnamese, “phai chiu trach nhiem” means “you must take responsibility.”
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