Violin rhythm in Mỹ Lai

On March 16 every year, local people in the central province of Quảng Ngãi see a foreign man play violin at the Mỹ Lai Massacre Monument in Tịnh Khê Commune, Sơn Tịnh District.

The man is Roy Mike Boehm, an American veteran from Madison City of the U.S. state of Wisconsin.

The massacre took place in Mỹ Lai Hamlet, Sơn Mỹ Village (now in Sơn Tịnh District) on March 16, 1968, by a group of U.S. soldiers.

Up to 504 victims, mostly old people, women and children, were killed.

Mike Boehm says that in 1980, he picked up an old violin at a dumpsite.

He cleaned, fixed and learned to play it.

When he listened to the song “Ashokan Farewell,” its rhythm seemed to touch his heart and he decided to learn to play the song.

In 1992, Mike Boehm went to Vietnam to play violin on the memorial day of the Mỹ Lai massacre.

He has been playing this song in Mỹ Lai on March 16 over the past 20 years.

In 1994, Mike Boehm established the Madison Quakers Fund to help the needy in the village.

Every year, Mike Boehm always goes to Vietnam on International Women’s Day (March 8) to attend events held by the Women’s Union of Quảng Ngãi Province because he is an honorary member of this organization.

Thanks to Mike Boehm’s support, many local women have a better life.

To Mike Boehm, every time he goes toVietnam, he always feels it’s like a safe trip home after a long journey.

He is now learning Vietnamese persistently…

 Source: The Saigon Times

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