With the coming of April 30,I’d first like to remind the younger generation, born after 1975, of oneimportant issue many of you still dont realize: The National Mourning Day ofApril 30 is a sad day because on that day, we, the South Vietnamese, lost ourcountry into the brutal hands of North Vietnamese communists from Hanoi. With their aggressive and illegal invasion by NorthVietnamese army they forced themselves into the free democratic territory ofthe South citizens, in 1975. Briefly, the National Mourning Day is the Day WeLost Our Country, the homeland of all Vietnamese who cherish liberty, humanrights, democracy and peace.

Despite this, many Vietnamese college students in America ignorantly gather in groups to party or socialize,have fun and dance on that day and night, as seen in the past years. This year,parents, please explain to your children the historical meaning of how tragicApril 30th is. After that day, approximately half a million Vietnamese in theSouth died on their way to escape communist brutality on the Eastern.

I hope Vietnamese grandparents and parents still remember to teach theirchildren the common Vietnamese proverb that was widely taught in our Southernschools in the RepublicVietnam before 1975: When one horse gets sick, the others in the whole stalldont eat. We should reflect on how horses have the ability to share their painand treat their own better than we, the human race, are able to.

The brave and tearful sacrifices of half a million Vietnamese, escaping by boatin the vast sea awakened the conscience of the United Nations. The UN HighCommissioner for Vietnamese Refugees took care of the expenses to set upRefugee Camps in the PhilippinesMalaysiaIndonesiaThailand and more… from 1978 to 1988. These camps receivedVietnamese refugees escaping from the communist regime and allowed temporaryliving. But the compassion didnt end there. Americans citizens and US Congressappealed to the American government for documents to approve Vietnameserefugees settling in America to start their new life. Gradually, other freecountries in the world supported and allowed South Vietnamese to seek asylum intheir home countries, including AustraliaCanadaFranceGermanyEnglandNew ZealandBelgiumDenmarkNorway… Our compatriots died for us to live. And now howcan those parents, i.e., the former Vietnamese refugees, indifferently (orunintentionally) allow their adult children to meet, have fun, and dance atnight in the approaching of the National Tragic Day of April 30?

Next, I’d like the younger generation to acknowledge another important part ofhistory from 1988 to 1989. US President, Ronald Reagan was successful in hisgreat task, helping former political prisoners of South Vietnam who were tremendously suffering from beingdiscriminated against and oppressed by the dictatorship of the single partycommunist government regime in Vietnam.

In 1988, President Reagan signed a decree permitting all Military, Citizens,Professionals and Government Officials of the Republic of Vietnam (RVN), allranks and levels included (who suffered for at least 3 years in the VCconcentration camps) and their families, could apply for settlement in Americalegally. Meaning, the political prisoners and their families didnt have toescape by hiding dangerously and walking to ThailandCambodia, or by riding on a small boat resembling a fragileleaf and perishing on the sea waves.

Just one year before, in 1987, many US Congress members from both Republicanand Democrat parties, along with former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State,Mr. Robert Funseth, made great efforts as the main negotiators to presentResolution 212. When the diplomats traveled to Vietnam to talk with VietnameseCommunists to liberate prisoners of RVN, who were enduring torturous treatmentin VC concentration camps with severe hard labor (that treacherous VC called“re-education” places), the VC argued against them roughly. They said: “No, wedont let them free. If we free those political and military prisoners of RVN,they would stand up and rebel across the country. Then, how can we control thepeople? Does your America accept all the (dirty) prisoners if we let them free…?”

The VC did not anticipate President Reagan would quickly affirm and reply thatthe RVN prisoners were welcome to immigrate to America if they were free to go. Thanks to President Reagan,an agreement between the and VC party was signed on July 30, 1989. Therefore, Resolution 212 was considered as thelegal document that liberated more than 300,000 South Vietnamese politicalprisoners. These Vietnamese people were allowed to leave communist Vietnam with their families to resettle and start a new lifein America.

Clearly, to the former prisoners of RVN: After the heavy rain, comes a brightsky. Lets hope and pray, even when we are betrayed, deceived, failed, or meetadversity… All things shall pass … along with the temporary human life.Lets trust those who work for the right cause and have kindness. We will riseabove adversity, have opportunities to come across, and support one another forsuccess.

Commemoration for April 30

@Diễn ĐànNgười Dân Việt


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