Archive for April, 2019

Keeping the Memory Alive

Posted in IV. Columns with tags , , , , , , on April 30, 2019 by Ian Pham
The Vietnam War Memorial in Westminster, California, USA. Photo shared in accordance with the creative commons license CC BY-SA 2.0. (via InSapphoWeTrust)

Another April 30 means another year has gone by since the fall of Saigon in 1975. On this day, 44 years ago, the capital city of the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam) fell to the communist forces, marking the tragic conclusion to the Vietnam War.

Every year on this day, Vietnamese communities all across the world come together to mourn the fall of the democracy, to commemorate the heroes who fought and sacrificed for freedom, and to show gratitude for those who escaped the communist takeover to find better lives for the future generation.

It is a day filled with sorrow and loss, but also a day full of love and appreciation.

We mourn because we lost our country, but we are also thankful for the lives we still have, made possible by all the brave soldiers who fought to defend us, and the selfless citizens who so courageously crossed the ocean to make sure that their families grew up far away from the grips of the murderous communists.

Today is an important day, bringing us all together to remind us of our hallowed past, and urging us to remember our South Vietnamese heritage, and all of those men and women who gave their lives in defense of that sacred ideal known as freedom.

We must never forget their sacrifice, nor should we ever forget our roots.

It is imperative that we remember, and that we work to make sure that future generations will continue to remember.

To this end, it is up to all of us, the old, the middling, and the younger generations to keep the memory alive. We must all keep the fire burning, doing so through the education of ourselves, and the education of others, especially the youth.

Learn the history of South Vietnam, its foundations, its ideals, and its wonderful accomplishments during the several decades of its existence. Know its people, its places, and even its flaws and shortcomings.

Know of the heroes who gave everything for that nation, in defense of its freedom, and the life, liberty, and dignity of its citizens.

From the brave soldiers of South Vietnam and the United States, to our allies who answered the call of duty, it is imperative that we know and tell their stories, so that they may find their rightful place in history. As the beneficiaries of their sacrifice, it is our duty to do so.

In order to honor the fallen, we must keep their memory alive, always and forever.

And so, on this Black April day, I leave you with this simple message:

Honor the fallen, keep their memory alive, and carry that fire with pride, in your heart, in your mind, and in your soul. To do that, just live, learn, and, above all else, never, ever forget.

Never forget.

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