Ha Thi Qui and Truong Thi Le
Ha Thi Qui and Truong Thi Le are survivors of the My Lai Massacre, which took place in Quang Ngai Province on March 16, 1968. Over a four hour period, 504 unarmed villagers in Son My village area. Villagers of the hamlets of My Lai, My Khe, Tu Cung and Co Luy Hamlets were brutally slaughtered by American soldiers of Charlie Company, a platoon in the 23rd Infantry Division. Qui was the only one to survive when soldiers herded 170 people into a drainage ditch and opened fire. Qui's 18-year-old daughter was killed as she tried to climb out of the ditch. Qui was wounded, the dead falling on top of her as a river of blood filled the ditch. After several hours, when the shooting finally stopped, Qui returned to her home to find it had been burned to the ground. Qui's grandchild and mother were also killed.
Le and her family were eating breakast in another hamlet when the soldiers dragged them out of their homes and marched them down the road in columns. She used her own body as a shield to protect her six-year-old son. Three people fell on top of her when they were shot. Under the weight of their dead bodies, she pushed her son aside so he would not be crushed. He moved and was shot and killed. Le saw the soldiers shoot a three month old baby sucking on his mother's breast. As she was trying to run away Le came across her 17-year-old daughter, who was seriously wounded. Le tried to pick her up, but her daughter told Le to save herself, because she would soon die. Le's entire family was killed in the massacre. One year later she adopted a parentless boy. Now, he is her only family.
It took villagers a week to bury all the dead. Even three months after the massacre the stench of death hung heavy over the ditch.